At the same time Trump was calling the virus concerns a hoax, a key US senator was telling a private business group that things would get bad
On Feb 27 Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr was telling a private North Carolina business group
"One thing I can tell you about this, it is much more aggressive, in terms of transmission, than anything we have seen in recent history. It's probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic."
That same day President Trump was telling the American people
"It's going to disappear. One day, like a miracle, it could disappear. From our shores , it could get worse before it gets better, it could maybe go away. We'll see what happens.
The next day, Feb 28, Trump told the American people that the virus concern was a Democratic hoax.
"Coronavirus, they’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs. You say, “How’s President Trump doing?” They go, “Oh, not good, not good.” They have no clue. They don’t have any clue. "
Richard Burr has expertise on pandemics.
The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019 (S. 1379) was introduced in the Senate by Richard Burr on May 8, 2019 . On May 15, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions passed the bill by unanimous consent.