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President Trump now tells us China is to blame for the havoc that the novel coronavirus is wreaking across the world. He has blocked funding to the World Health Organization for colluding with China in keeping the facts hidden. To evaluate these claims, just keep in mind one tweet from the president, on Jan. 24. “China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus,” Trump wrote. “The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!”
What did the world — including Trump — know about the virus at that point? One day earlier, on Jan. 23, the WHO warned that “all countries should be prepared for containment [of the virus], including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of onward spread.” By this point, stories about the virus were all over the news. China had announced that the virus was being transmitted between humans and had begun locking down Hubei province.