Coinciding with Trump's decision to defund a coronavirus research organization based on the conspiracy theory that they funneled money to a Chinese laboratory that supposedly created the virus, Trump has also ordered an investigation of a related conspiracy theory.
Trump is alleging that both China and the World Health Organization (WHO) somehow covered up the existence of the coronavirus which has been making headlines since Decembers and he's order an investigation of his conspiracy theory.
A specific "tasking" seeking information about the outbreak's early days was sent last week to the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency, which includes the National Center for Medical Intelligence, an official directly familiar with the matter said. The CIA has received similar instructions, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter.
President Donald Trump appeared to refer to the request at his news conference Monday. "We're doing very serious investigations," Trump said. "We are not happy with that whole situation, because we believe it could have been stopped at the source, it could have been stopped quickly, and it wouldn't have spread all over the world."
Unlike Trump, you probably read the news at least one single time between the months of December and March when the pandemic was already making headlines from China to Italy to right here in the United States after the first case was identified in Washington state.
For their part, the Chinese government may have concealed the true extent of their outbreak, but the virus itself was no secret and wasn't hidden from anyone. We knew it was coming and we saw what could happen in the West when Italy began to quarantine entire cities weeks before we did.
Trump does not actually expect the intelligence community to find anything. The goal is to create the appearance or perception of wrongdoing. It's effectively like urging Ukraine to announce investigations of Joe Biden even when you know he did nothing wrong.
Trump is desperate for someone to take some responsibility away from him. The buck stops everywhere else.