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US notified Israel about coronavirus in mid-November: Israeli TV

An Israeli TV network claims that US intelligence agencies knew of an emerging coronavirus outbreak in China and gave Israel an advance warning in mid-November 2019, more than a month before clusters of infection in China started to be globally reported.

US intelligence agencies had become aware of the outbreak as it spread early on in central China’s Wuhan City, Israel’s i24 news website cited a report by Israeli broadcaster Channel 12 as saying on Thursday.

The agencies decided to warn US allies, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries and Israel, after initially passing the information on to the White House, “which did not deem it of interest,” according to the report.

The report did not specify when US intelligence agencies allegedly first learned of the coronavirus outbreak before notifying Israel in November.

The report added that the information “reached Israel’s decision-makers and the Health Ministry” shortly later, but ultimately “nothing” was done.

The revelation comes a week after the US-based ABC News published a report citing informed sources as saying that US intelligence services had been warning since November that a potentially “cataclysmic” outbreak was unfolding in Wuhan.

The ABC report was, however, rejected by US President Donald Trump a day after its publication.

As of Friday, more than 2.14 million confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported across the world, and 143,744 people have died, according to a Reuters tally.

China, the initial epicenter of the global pandemic, reported its first coronavirus infection on December 31, 2019.