Pandemic Warnings From 2018-19 Resurface After Trump Claims Nobody Thought One Would Happen

Warnings about the COVID pandemic have been resurfacing on social media a few weeks after former President Donald Trump claimed that no one thought it could happen.

"Nobody really ever thought a pandemic would happen. It sounds like sort of an ancient thing you know, where it would go back to 1917 which was so bad, but no one thought it was going to happen," Trump said during a recent interview with One America News Network's Dan Ball.

Despite Trump's claim, a number of warnings against the pandemic have been made dating a few years back.

Trump claims about the pandemic
Pandemic warnings dating back a few years ago began to resurface after former president Donald Trump claimed that no one expected one to happen. Above, Trump speaks at the White House on November 13, 2020. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

In 2018, Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington sent a letter to the Trump administration that said that the U.S. is not prepared for a pandemic as then-President Trump was scrapping structures that were placed by former President Barack Obama's administration for those purposes.

The letter was sent after the head of global security at the White House's National Security Council (NSC) Timothy Ziemer left the Trump administration at the time.

"Mr. Ziemer's departure appears to represent 'a downgrading of global health security' and means that 'no senior administration official is now focused solely on global health security' and that it is unclear ... who at the White House would be in charge of a pandemic," the three-year-old letter read.

"Mr. Ziemer reportedly left the White House after your reshuffling of the NSC which eliminates the office Ziemer led. It comes amid continuing concerns that the nation and the world are unprepared for pandemic outbreaks or other global public health threats, as the Trump administration is proposing significant cuts to funding global public health and pandemic detection and prevention," Warren and Murray added in the letter.

Who could've known! If only @ewarren & @PattyMurray had sent the Trump admin a letter in May 2018 saying they're totally unprepared for a pandemic and were failing to keep up the structures the Obama admin put in place for exactly that purpose.

— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) September 25, 2021

According to the letter, Murray and Warren tried to reach out to the former Trump administration a number of times of the course of 16 months to express their concerns about global public health preparedness, but were "yet to receive satisfying answers."

In 2019, a few months before COVID hit, now-President Joe Biden warned that the U.S. is not prepared for a pandemic, as Trump eliminated the progress that he and Obama had set for strong global health security.

"We need leadership that builds public trust, focuses on real threats, and mobilizes the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores," Biden said in a tweet dated on October 25, 2019.

Similar warnings also appeared earlier in May 2016 when Anthony Fauci, currently the president's chief medical adviser, told BuzzFeed News that what most concerns him is "a respiratory disease like influenza, that's easily spread and highly lethal."

Newsweek reached out to Trump's representatives for comment.