As more information becomes public, we are continually adding to this timeline and will publish updates.
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2015 — Wuhan Institute of Virology becomes China’s first lab to achieve the highest level of international bioresearch safety (P4)
November 2017 — Results of the US-funded research at the Wuhan Institute were published under the heading: ‘Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus.’ The US National Institutes of Health awarded a $3.7 million research grant to the Wuhan Institute of Virology
January -March 2018 — US Embassy in Beijing repeatedly sends US science diplomats to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. During these visits, the delegation dispatches two Sensitive cables back to Washington, D.C., in which they warn about safety conditions and management at the lab. The first cable reveals that the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses poses a serious threat for another potential SARS-like outbreak.
January 2019 — In China, Shi Zhengli, the deputy director at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, warned of the possibility of SARS-like coronavirus outbreaks in China in a research paper penned together with her colleagues
August 2019 — The US State Department releases an unclassified report on “Adherence to and Compliance With Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments.” On Page 45, the report states, “Information indicates that the People’s Republic of China (China) engaged during the reporting period in biological activities with potential dual-use applications, which raises concerns regarding its compliance with the BWC. In addition, the United States does not have sufficient information to determine whether China eliminated its assessed biological warfare (BW)
program, as required under Article II of the [Biological Weapons] Convention.”
September 24 — Pelosi announced that six committees of the House of Representatives would begin a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump
October 2019 — The Trump administration concludes a months-long simulation, code-named “Crimson Contagion,” designed to respond to a global influenza pandemic. The Department of Health and Human Services determines that the US is underprepared, underfunded, and under-coordinated to fight an influenza-like pandemic. The Department of Health and Human Services concludes its “Crimson Contagion” simulation in August. The exercise simulated a U.S. response to a fictitious respiratory virus that began in China and quickly spread around the world. The result of the exercise, contained in an internal draft report in October 2019 and marked “Draft Do Not Distribute,” includes a section titled “resources.” The section foregrounds the lack of PPE preparedness in the event of a global pandemic and problems in the supply chain for medical equipment including ventilators and other ancillary medical supplies.
October 2019 — Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs Congressional Committees deposed witnesses in the Trump impeachment inquiry
November 2019 — First cases of unknown new illness in Wuhan
November 17 — First alleged case (“patient zero”) is contracted in Hubei according to Chinese government data reported by the SCMP. This alleged “patient zero” is a 55-year-old woman, which does *not* comport with other reports, which indicate that patient zero was possibly a younger lab worker.
December 1 — According to a China-funded study in Lancet, the first case in China is detected.
December 5 — Speaker Pelosi authorizes the House Judiciary Committee to begin drafting articles of impeachment.
December 10 — Wei Guixian, one of the earliest known coronavirus patients, falls ill in Wuhan, China.
Mid-to-late December 2019 — A team of government public servants in Alberta, Canada responds to reports of an “influenza-like virus” in China by increasing their emergency stockpile of hospital masks, gloves, and gowns. After hearing about a “strange flu” from contacts in China, the Alberta Health Services supply procurement team doubles their normal order of hospital PPE in mid-December. In late December, management approves a huge new purchase, including about 500,000 additional N95 masks.
December 16 — House Judiciary Committee released a 658-page report on the articles of impeachment.
December 16 — In Wuhan, a patient is admitted with an infection in both lungs but resistant to anti-flu drugs.
December 18 — President Trump is impeached. Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted and approved articles of impeachment on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress of President Trump.
December 27 — Caixin news-site in Beijing uncovers testing labs that cracked the code and identified the mystery flu as a new coronavirus were ordered by local and national Chinese officials to hand over or destroy their samples and not allowed to release their findings.
December 27 — Wuhan health officials are told that a new coronavirus is causing the illness.
December 27 —A Guangzhou-based genomics company sequences most of the virus, showing
an “alarming similarity” to SARS. Samples of the virus are distributed to at least six other genomics companies for testing.
December 30 — Dr. Ai Fen, a top director at Wuhan Central Hospital, posts information on WeChat about the new virus. She was warned not to spread information about what she saw. Dr. Li Wenliang also shares information on WeChat about a SARS-like virus, and he has seven patients in his hospital.
December 30 — Wuhan health commission notifies hospitals of a “pneumonia of unclear cause” and orders them to report any related information.
December 30 — Mysterious patient samples arrive at Wuhan Institute of Virology at 7 P.M.
December 31 — China first alerts WHO of mysterious pneumonia sickening dozens in Wuhan, saying wet market had been closed and that has taken effect. They emphasize NO human to human transmission.
December 31 — Wuhan health officials confirm 27 cases of illness and close a market they think is related to the virus’ spread.
December 31 — Taiwan sends a polite email to WHO notifying them of human-to-human transmission by alluding to “cases being treated in isolation;” requests more information
December 31 — Chinese social media censors introduce a list of coronavirus-related terms, including “Wuhan unknown pneumonia” and “unknown SARS,” to block from online discussions.
January 1 — Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market shut down in Wuhan
January 1 — Chinese doctor alerts hospital of person-to-person transmission, reprimanded for rumor
January 1 — Wuhan police publicly reprimand eight people for spreading rumors, widely covered on national TV in China
January 1 — An official at the Hubei Provincial Health Commission orders labs, which had already determined that the novel virus was similar to SARS, to stop testing samples and to destroy existing samples.
January 2 — Chinese Government-run laboratory identifies coronavirus and maps genome but doesn’t publicly announce it
January 5 — Shanghai public health center maps genome, privately urges control measures
January 6 — China CDC activates emergency response, not publicly announced
January 7 — President Xi takes charge of response, not publicly disclosed until February
January 7 — Chinese President Xi Jinping personally ordered officials to control the outbreak on Jan. 7, authorities kept denying it could spread between humans—something doctors had known was happening since late December.
January 8 — US CDC first alerts clinicians to be on the look-out for patients with respiratory symptoms and a history of travel to Wuhan.
January 9 — Chinese officials announce coronavirus outbreak
January 10 — First case in Japan. A resident of Kanagawa Prefecture in his 30’s who had previously travelled to Wuhan developed a fever on 3 January and subsequently returned to Japan on 6 January. He tested positive during a hospital admission between 10 and 15 January. He had not visited the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, but possibly had close contact with an affected person in Wuhan.
January 11-17 — CCP holds long-planned meeting in Wuhan. The Wuhan Health Commission still says there are no new cases.
January 13 — Thailand announced the first confirmed case, a 61-year-old Chinese woman who is a resident of Wuhan. She had not visited the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, but was noted to have been to other markets. She developed a sore throat, fever, chills and a headache on January 5, flew directly with her family and a tour group from Wuhan to Thailand on 8 January, where she was detected using thermal surveillance and then hospitalized. Four days later she tested positive.
January 14 — Chinese National Health Commission holds national meeting on fighting virus, not publicly disclosed until February
January 14 — WHO tweets that there is no human-to-human transmission
Mid-January — Deputy National Security Advisor Pottinger begins convening daily meetings about the coronavirus
January 15 — Chinese delegation signs “Phase One” trade deal with US at White House
January 15 — Chinese Health officials say human-to-human transmission risk is low
January 15 — First case in the United States. A 35-year-old man presented to an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, Washington, with a 4-day history of cough and subjective fever. On checking into the clinic, the patient put on a mask in the waiting room. After waiting approximately 20 minutes, he was taken into an examination room and underwent evaluation by a provider. He disclosed that he had returned to Washington State on January 15 after traveling to visit family in Wuhan, China. The patient stated that he had seen a health alert from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the novel coronavirus outbreak in China and, because of his symptoms and recent travel, decided to see a health care provider. Given the patient’s travel history, the local and state health departments were immediately notified. Together with the urgent care clinician, the Washington Department of Health notified the CDC Emergency Operations Center. Although the patient reported that he had not spent time at the Huanan seafood market and reported no known contact with ill persons during his travel to China, CDC staff concurred with the need to test the patient for 2019-nCoV on the basis of current CDC.
January 16-Feb 5 — Senate impeachment trail
January 17 — Thailand’s second case occurred in a 74-year-old woman who arrived in Bangkok on a flight from Wuhan
January 17 — US CDC began dispatching public health experts to screen incoming airport passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and adding monitors at Chicago and Atlanta
January 18 — Wuhan announces four new cases while tens of thousands of families participate in Wuhan’s Lunar New Year banquet. Millions later travel out of Wuhan.
January 19 — First case in the United States in Washington State appeared to medical professionals when a 35 year old man who arrived from Wuhan to Washington state drives to an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, Washington, with a 4-day history of cough and subjective fever. On checking into the clinic, the patient put on a mask in the waiting room. After waiting approximately 20 minutes, he was taken into an examination room and underwent evaluation by a provider. He disclosed that he had returned to Washington State on January 15 after traveling to visit family in Wuhan, China. The patient stated that he had seen a health alert from the US CDC about the novel coronavirus outbreak in China and, because of his symptoms and recent travel, decided to see a health care provider. Given the patient’s travel history, the local and state health departments were immediately notified. Together with the urgent care clinician, the Washington Department of Health notified the CDC Emergency Operations Center. Although the patient reported that he had not spent time at the Huanan seafood market and reported no known contact with ill persons during his travel to China, CDC staff concurred with the need to test the patient for 2019-nCoV on the basis of current CDC.
January 20 — President Xi makes first public statement; government task force chief announces person-to-person transmission and that they have more 400 cases a day
January 20 — A top Chinese doctor, Dr. Zhong Nanshan, who is working on the coronavirus response, is allowed to acknowledge the virus can be passed person to person after the Chinese had been saying the opposite up until then.
January 20 — US CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center
January 20 — First confirmed case in South Korea is a 35-year-old Chinese woman. The first South Korean national to be infected occurred three days later was a 55-year-old man who worked in Wuhan and returned for a checkup with flu symptoms.
January 21 – 24 — World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos
January 21 — First case in Taiwan was confirmed in a 50-year-old woman who just returned to Taoyuan International Airport from her teaching job in Wuhan. She reported on her own initiative and was hospitalized without formal domestic entry.
January 21 — US CDC announces first travel-related case detected in the country
January 21 — The CCP’s news outlet, People’s Daily, talks about coronavirus and Xi’s efforts.
January 21 — China’s head of law and order warns that “anyone who deliberately delays and hides the reporting of cases out of his or her own self-interest will be nailed on the pillar of shame for eternity.”
January 22 — Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) warns HHS Secretary Azar not to trust Chinese authorities and requests that the Department of Health and Human Services inform Congress if the administration discovers false or misleading information from Chinese officials
January 23 — Lockdown of Wuhan and other areas quarantined
January 24 — Second case in Japan was confirmed as a Chinese national who visited from Wuhan.
January 24 — First case of a woman in Chicago, who had just returned from Wuhan, China.
January 24 — China locks down 36 million people
January 24 — Building of a new hospital starts in Wuhan.
January 25 — Chinese New Year
January 25 — First case in Orange County, CA of a man who traveled from Wuhan
January 25 — Third case in Japan was confirmed as a woman from Wuhan
January 25 — Steve Bannon calls Coronavirus a pandemic and launches War Room: Pandemic
January 26 — Zhou Xianwang, the Mayor of Wuhan, said that 5 million people had left the city before travel restrictions were imposed ahead of the Chinese New Year
January 26 — Fifth case of the coronavirus was confirmed in the U.S.
January 26 — Taiwan became the first country to ban flights from Wuhan.
January 27 — In state media interview, Wuhan Mayor Zhou Xianwang says he was not authorized by his superiors to disclose the epidemic earlier. Wuhan’s Communist Party chief — who outranks the mayor — expresses culpability for failing to taking “strict, preventive measures earlier.”
January 27 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 2
January 28 — First domestic case diagnosed in Taiwan
January 28 — Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) urges senior White House officials to implement a targeted travel ban on China.
January 28 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 3
January 29 — Peter Navarro sends a memo to the National Security Council making the case for an immediate travel ban on China
January 29 — U.S. evacuates 195 State Department employees from Wuhan along with their families and other U.S. citizens to March Air Reserve Base near Riverside, California on where they are kept under quarantine for 14 days, although none had been infected.
January 29 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 4
January 30 — WHO names the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, a public health emergency of international concern
January 30 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 5
January 31 — President Donald J. Trump restricts travel from China
January 31 — First two cases in Italy when two Chinese tourists in Rome test positive for the virus
January 31 — The Italian government suspends all flights to and from China and declares a state of emergency
January 31 — First two cases confirmed in Russia – one in Tyumen, another in Chita, Zabaykalsky Krai. Both were Chinese nationals, who have since recovered.
January 31 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 6
February 1 — Joe Biden tweets:
We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.
February 2 — US reports nine cases of coronavirus nationwide and the first case of human-to-human transmission in Illionois.
February 2 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 9
February 3 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 10
February 4 — State of the Union Address 2020
February 4 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 11
February 5 — President Trump is acquitted
February 5 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 12
February 6 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 13
February 7 — Third case in Italy. Italian man repatriated back to Italy from the city of Wuhan, China, was hospitalized
February 7 — Wuhan whistleblower Dr. Li dies, becomes a national hero
February 10 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 14
February 12 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 15
February 13 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 16
February 14 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 17
February 17 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 18
February 18 — China expels three Wall Street Journal reporters working in mainland China in retaliation for a headline on an essay that ran in The Journal’s editorial pages this month. The headline read: “China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia.” Chinese officials have “demanded that The Wall Street Journal recognize the seriousness of the error, openly and formally apologize, and investigate and punish those responsible, while retaining the need to take further measures against the newspaper.
February 18 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 19
February 19 — Iran reports two people tested positive. Later that day, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education(MOHME) state that both had died
February 19 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 20
February 20 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 21
February 21 — A cluster of cases was later detected, starting with 16 confirmed cases in Lombardy
February 21 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 22
February 22 — 60 additional cases in Italy and the first deaths
February 22 — Iran reports 10 more infected cases bringing the total to 29 and two more deaths bringing the total to eight. Eight of the new cases were from the city of Qom and two from Tehran.
February 23 — Iran said that one of those who died was a merchant from Qom who traveled regularly using indirect flights between China and Iran after direct flights were suspended between the two countries, and may have brought the virus from China.
February 23 — Peter Navarro sends second memo, this one warning of “an increasing probability of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic that could infect as many as 100 million Americans, with a loss of life of as many as 1-2 million souls.”
February 25 — Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) National Center for Medical Intelligence experts raised their defense condition from WATCHCON 2 to WATCHCON 1, indicating an imminent pandemic, according to ABC.
February 25 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 25
February 26 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 26
February 27 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 27
February 28 — Jimmy Lai is arrested in Hong King; city deals with the aftermath of mass protests and the coronavirus outbreak.
February 28 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 28
February 29 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 29
March 1 — New York City’s first case. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo confirmed a woman contracted the virus while traveling in Iran and is now in New York City isolated in her home.
March 2 — The Trump administration limits to 100 the number of Chinese citizens who may work in the United States for five state-controlled Chinese news organizations. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would not restrict the content of what the five organizations report — a contrast to what he described as increased surveillance, harassment and intimidation of foreign journalists in China.
March 2 — Iran’s Mohammad Mirmohammadi, a member of the Expediency Council which advises the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, was reported to have died of the disease.
March 2 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 30
March 3 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 31
March 4 — Chinese state media threatens to cut off critical US drug supply
March 4 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 32
March 5 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 33
March 6 — The Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care (SIAARTI) publishes medical ethics recommendations regarding triage protocols that might be employed.
March 6 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 34
March 8 — Italy expands its quarantine to all of Lombardy and 14 other northern provinces
March 9 — Italy places more than 60 million people in quarantine.
March 9 — Italy becomes the country with the highest number of confirmed deaths in the world.
March 9 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 37
March 10 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 38
March 11 — Italy prohibits nearly all commercial activity except for supermarkets and pharmacies.
March 11 — President Trump addresses the nation, suspends US and most of Europe
March 11 — WHO declares coronavirus a pandemic
March 11 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 39
March 12 — China pushes the theory that the U.S. military started the coronavirus pandemic. China’s Spokesman for Foreign Ministry tweets:
2/2 CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation! https://t.co/vYNZRFPWo3
2/2 CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation! pic.twitter.com/vYNZRFPWo3
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) March 12, 2020
March 12 — Joe Biden tweets:
A wall will not stop the coronavirus.
Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop it.
This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet — and we need a plan to combat it.
A wall will not stop the coronavirus.
Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop it.
This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet — and we need a plan to combat it.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 13, 2020
March 12 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 40
March 15 — Dr. Ai Fen, head of Emergency at Wuhan Central hospital, goes public, saying authorities had stopped her and her colleagues from warning the world. She has since disappeared, her whereabouts unknown.
March 16 — President Trump announces 15 Days to Slow the Spread
March 17 — China announced it would expel American journalists working for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. It also demanded that those outlets, as well as the Voice of America and TIME magazine, provide the Chinese government with detailed information about their operations.
March 19 — China reports no new local cases
March 19 — US CDC issues updated guidelines instructing medical professionals how to use homemade masks “as a last resort” if PPE is not available.
“In settings where facemasks are not available, [healthcare personnel] might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort,” reads the updated CDC guidance. “However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect [healthcare personnel] is unknown.”
March 21 — The Italian government closes all non-essential businesses and industries, with additional restrictions to movement of people
March 23 — Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the US created “a special version” of the virus that was affecting the country. So he has refused the United States’ offer to help Iran eradicate the coronavirus pandemic
March 23-27, 2020 — Hospitals report facing severe shortages of testing supplies, widespread shortages of PPE, difficulty maintaining adequate staff, and overall shortages of critical supplies.
Principal Inspector General Christi Grimm at the Department of Health and Human Services surveys 323 hospitals across 46 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico from March 23-27, 2020. Grimm reports that hospitals are facing severe shortages of testing supplies, widespread shortages of PPE, difficulty maintaining adequate staff, and overall shortages of critical supplies. She also finds that in some cases the protective gear that the federal government provided to hospitals was expired or dry-rotted.
March 26 — Reports emerge that there are still not enough diagnostic tests. The New York Times reports that there are still not enough tests to test everyone who needs it due to a lack of tests as well as PPE for medical care workers.
March 31 — The White House projects the U.S. could face 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, as President Trump warned Americans to brace for an unprecedented crisis in the days ahead.
March 31 — China says it will begin reporting infection cases for people with no symptoms in the “near future”
April 2 — Iranian President Rouhani warned that the country could fight the coronavirus pandemic for another year. 3,111 new infections raise Iran’s total to 50,468. 124 new deaths bring the total to 3,160. 16,711 of those hospitalized have recovered.
April 6 — Deaths from COVID-19 become the leading cause of death in the United States.
April 7 — President Trump threatens to withhold money from the WHO. He also suggests that the WHO may have adverse political motivations and is “China-centric.”
April 8 — State governors consider creating a multi-state consortium to supply PPE.
April 8 — Rep. Jim Banks calls on United States to bring case against China to International Court of Justice
April 10 — World coronavirus deaths surpass 100,000
April 11 — Over 500 crew members of the USS Theodore test positive for coronavirus
April 12 — Wet market reopen in Wuhan, China
April 12 — Dr. Fauci states that “no one is going to deny” that earlier mitigation efforts would have saved lives.
April 13 — Governors on the west coast and northeast announce interstate coalitions to coordinate reopening their regions.
April 14 — President Trump halts WHO funding pending the administration’s investigation into the way the organization has handled the coronavirus pandemic.
April 14 — New York City’s coronavirus death toll passes 10,000 (a figure larger than any European country)
April 14 — Senator Hawley announces bill to hold CCP accountable
April 16 — Senator Cotton and Congressman Crenshaw announce bill to allow Americans to sue China for damages
April 17 — Vice President Pence declares that United States has enough tests for a Phase 1 reopening
April 18 — President Trump warns of “consequences” if China “knowingly responsible for coronavirus outbreak
April 19 — Defense Secretary Mark Esper extends Defense Department’s travel ban until June 30th amid coronavirus concerns
April 23 — China pledges an addition $30 million in funding to World Health Organization
April 24 — The CCP pressures the European Union into removing references to China from a report on government misinformation and the coronavirus.
April 26 — War Room: Pandemic Episode 140
May 3 — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims that there is “enormous evidence” that the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology and accuses China of blocking international investigations into the virus’s origin.
May 6 — President Trump says the United States was attacked worse than Pearl Harbor
May 7 — Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announces Republican-led China Task Force