US intelligence agencies warned of virus in November

The dire warning about an out-of-control disease sweeping through China was detailed in a report by the National Center for Medical Intelligence.
2:18 | 04/09/20

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Transcript for US intelligence agencies warned of virus in November
Steve, thank you. We'll turn to the ABC news reporting tonight that American intelligence officials warned the trump administration as far back as late November about coronavirus. That ended up in the president's daily briefing. What did they know and when, and what was being said publicly? Here's Jonathan korl. Reporter: ABC news has learned U.S. Intelligence agencies were warning way back in November that that an out-of-control disease was sweeping through China. The dire warning was detailed in a report by the military's national center for medical intelligence. As recently as two days ago, president trump said nobody saw this coming. This came out of nowhere. Nobody would have ever thought a thing like this could have happened. Reporter: The November intelligence report determined the virus was changing patterns of life in China and posing a threat to U.S. Forces in Asia. "Analysts concluded it would be a cataclysmic event," a source familiar with the report tells ABC news, adding the defense intelligence agency, the Pentagon's joint staff, and the white house were briefed multiple times. George Stephanopoulos asked the defense secretary about the warnings. Did the Pentagon receive an intelligence assessment on covid in China last November, from the national center for medical intelligence of Dia? I can't recall, George, but we have many people that watch this closely. Reporter: By early January, sources tell ABC news, the information was included in the president's daily intelligence brief. But later that month, the president said the threat was under control. We have it totally under control. It's one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It's going to be just fine. Reporter: Tonight, the president responded to the ABC news report. When did you first learn about the intelligence? And could you have acted on it then? I learned when I learned about the gravity about it, sometime just prior to closing the country to China. And when we closed up the flights coming from China and various other elements. I don't know. But I'd like to see the information. Reporter: ABC news reached out to the Pentagon throughout the reporting on this story. We have not yet received an official response. When you have it, you'll pass it along.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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