"At a White House briefing March 19, President Donald Trump said, “Nobody knew there’d be a pandemic or an epidemic of this proportion.” But that’s simply not the case.
Among others, the U.S. intelligence community warned in its annual threat report for 2019 that “that the United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large-scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death.”
The president made his remarks at a coronavirus task force press briefing. Trump deflected the blame when asked about the lack of coronavirus tests and medical supplies to deal with the pandemic."
The entire science of epidemiology has grown over nearly two centuries to address the repeated challenges of contagious diseases. As a result of a history of tragic experiences, epidemiologists have been warning societies and coaching them on how to avoid epidemics for many years. The warnings of a possible pandemic given to the Trump administration since its start have been many -- and largely ignored.
Science journalists can be proud of their colleagues who have consistently translated the warnings of epidemiologists into plain language for wide publication. Three worth special mention are Laurie Garrett, Helen Branswell, and Ed Yong -- but there are more.