Mitch McConnell Says He Was Wrong About Obama Administration Not Leaving A Pandemic Playbook
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted, on Thursday, that he made a mistake by claiming that the Obama administration had not devised a plan to deal with a pandemic.
"I was wrong," McConnell said, conceding that the Obama administration did leave behind a plan. "I clearly made a mistake in that regard," McConnell said in an interview with Fox News' Bret Baier. This comes days after he accused the previous administration of not leaving the Trump administration any sort of game plan for something like the coronavirus pandemic in an online chat with President's daughter-in-law Lara Trump.
On Monday, McConnell noted that contrary to pandemics occurring once every hundred years, there is a possibility that it could be happening more frequently. It is therefore imperative for America to be ready for the next one, McConnell said, adding that the Obama administration didn't leave any kind of gameplan for this administration to deal with something like this.
In point of fact, President Barrack Obama's White House National Security Council left behind an all-encompassing document for the Trump administration, outlining guidelines on how to respond to a pandemic. Originally revealed by Politico earlier this year, the document is called Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents.
The playbook comprises a piece of detailed, step-by-step advice including what kind of questions to ask, decisions to make, and which federal agencies are responsible for what. Aside from that, it comprises sample documents that can be used by officials for meeting within the agency and lists novel coronaviruses as one of the pathogens that could jeopardize the lives of the people and call for a major response.
On top of that, outgoing senior Obama officials left an in-person pandemic response exercise to be used by senior incoming Trump officials in Jan. 2017 as part of a new law signed by signed in 2016 that focuses on making presidential transitions seamless. Last week, former POTUS described the administration's coronavirus response as an "absolute chaotic disaster," CNN Politics reported.
Obama made this statement in a private call with former staffers who worked with him in the White House. On Thursday, McConnell admitted that he had no idea whether or not the plan was followed, who criticized it, and a slew of other details as he doesn't know enough about it and understandably refrained from commenting on it.