In an interview with Mother Jones, Schiff was asked to “characterize” the information U.S. intelligence agencies compiled about the coronavirus. He said, “I don’t want to characterize it yet because we are now doing our own review of our own holdings to determine when did the intelligence community first start reporting about this?”
He added that he wanted to look into, “What were they telling us, frankly, about the danger of pandemics even before this one? What did they first observe going on in China? When did this first make its way into the president’s daily brief — or get briefed to Congress?”
Watch the interview below:
“So much of the information was in the public realm. You had the Chinese reporting the virus. You had the WHO reporting the virus. You had the president’s own people publicly talking about the danger. And even well after the virus was established fact, and it was spreading, and it had come to the United States, you still had the president talking it down, like it was going to be no worse than a flu. And that he had the problem wholly contained, and it was under control.”
Additionally, Schiff said he thinks his committee needs to analyze the “whole of government” response to the virus.
Earlier this month, Schiff said he wants to establish a non-partisan commission to examine the response to the coronavirus, as IJR has previously reported.
ABC News reported that the National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) compiled a report in November warning about the spread of the virus.
The NCMI denied that report. The Office of Director of National Intelligence also shot down a report by CNN that said intelligence agencies were tracking the virus in the fall, “As we told CNN earlier today, this story contains inaccurate information.”