President Donald Trump claimed on Thursday that he did have a playbook to battle the coronavirus pandemic as a whistleblower testifed on Capitol Hill that a ‘dark winter’ was ahead because of a lack of ‘standard, centralized, coordinated plan.’
Trump, before he left to visit a medical supply factor in Allentown, Pennsylvania, had his press secretary Kayleigh McEnany wave before reporters a binder called ‘Pandemic Crisis Action Plan.’
She also waved around a copy of the ‘Playbook for early response to high consequence emerging infectious disease threats and biological incidents,’ which was the document the Obama administration left for the Trump administration. The page was labelled ‘table of contents’ and had hand writing all over it.
President Trump claimed he did have a playbook to battle the coronavirus
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany criticized the pandemic plan left by the Obama administration
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany also showed the folder with President Trump’s plan to combat the coronavirus
McEnany called the document left by President Barack Obama ‘insufficient’ and used the occasion to also take a hit at Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee.
‘The Obama-Biden plan has been referenced. It was insufficient, wasn’t going to work,’ she said.
She noted the report the Trump administration had prepared on a pandemic, adding ‘beyond that we did a full exercise on pandemic preparedness in August of last year, and had an entire after action report put together.’
But she didn’t offer details of what was in the Trump plan, stating that information would come on Friday.
‘We’ll have a full update tomorrow for you guys at the briefing – line by line – of how prepared we were for the pandemic,’ McEnany said.
Trump also complained ‘we were given very little’ when they took over the White House.
The administration’s response came as Dr. Rick Bright, the HHS whistleblower, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the Trump administration’s slowed response to the coronavirus ‘put lives at risk.’
‘Without better planning 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history,’ Bright warned.
‘The window is closing to address this pandemic, because we still do not have a standard, centralized, coordinated plan to take our nation through this response,’ he explained, when questioned about his dire warning.
The Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, which as infected more than 1.43 million people in the United States and caused more than 85,000 deaths.
Last week, former President Barack Obama called the administration’s response an ‘absolute chaotic disaster.
‘What we’re fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided, and seeing others as an enemy – that has become a stronger impulse in American life,’ Obama said on a call obtained by Yahoo News.
‘And by the way, we’re seeing that internationally as well,’ he noted, adding ‘It’s part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty.’
‘It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset – of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’ – when that mindset is operationalized in our government.’
Obama added: ‘That’s why, I, by the way, am going to be spending as much time as necessary and campaigning as hard as I can for Joe Biden.’
Dr. Rick Bright warned Congress that ‘2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history’ if a strategy isn’t deployed to get the coronavisus pandemic under control before fall
Former President Barack Obama (left) blasted President Trump’s (right) handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as an ‘absolute chaotic disaster’
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the former president, claiming he didn’t leave a plan to fight pandemics when he left the White House.
‘They claim pandemics only happen once every hundred years but what if that’s no longer true? We want to be early, ready for the next one, because clearly the Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like this,’ McConnell said.
But former Obama officials have struck back.
‘We literally left them a 69-page Pandemic Playbook…. that they ignored. And an office called the Pandemic Preparedness Office… that they abolished. And a global monitoring system called PREDICT .. that they cut by 75%,’ Ronald Klain, a campaign adviser to Biden and the former Obama administration Ebola response coordinator, wrote on Twitter last week.
The Obama playbook, which was 40 pages plus appendices, contained step-by-step advice on questions to ask, decisions to make, and which federal agencies are responsible for what, CNN reported.
It also listed the novel coronaviruses as ones to watch that could require a major government response.
The color-coded book addressed a number of issues, including testing, funding, personal protective equipment, emergency declarations, border control measures, diplomacy, the use of the military, public communication, and even mortuary services.