Just before Donald Trump took office in 2017, officials in the Obama White House warned Trump’s team about the need to plan for the very type of pandemic that is now wreaking havoc around the globe.
According to Politico, “In a tabletop exercise days before an untested new president took power, officials briefed the incoming administration on a scenario remarkably like the one he faces now.”
The report noted that two-thirds of Trump officials who were briefed on the matter are no longer in the administration, which is likely one reason why the president has managed this current crisis so badly.
More from Politico:
The briefing was intended to hammer home a new, terrifying reality facing the Trump administration, and the incoming president’s responsibility to protect Americans amid a crisis. But unlike the coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging the globe, this 2017 crisis didn’t really happen — it was among a handful of scenarios presented to Trump’s top aides as part of a legally required transition exercise with members of the outgoing administration of Barack Obama.
POLITICO obtained documents from the meeting and spoke with more than a dozen attendees to help provide the most detailed reconstruction of the closed-door session yet. It was perhaps the most concrete and visible transition exercise that dealt with the possibility of pandemics, and top officials from both sides — whether they wanted to be there or not — were forced to confront a whole-of-government response to a crisis. The Trump team was told it could face specific challenges, such as shortages of ventilators, anti-viral drugs and other medical essentials, and that having a coordinated, unified national response was “paramount” — warnings that seem eerily prescient given the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
But roughly two-thirds of the Trump representatives in that room are no longer serving in the administration. That extraordinary turnover in the months and years that followed is likely one reason his administration has struggled to handle the very real pandemic it faces now, former Obama administration officials said.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes explained that the Trump team’s failure to absorb this information from the Obama White House is “par for the course” for this administration.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) March 17, 2020
The revelation makes Trump’s coronavirus response look even more disastrous
The fact that Donald Trump’s transition team was briefed on the growing threat of global pandemics just before taking office makes the president’s coronavirus response look that much more disastrous.
Not only did the Trump team fail to heed those warnings from the Obama administration, but they proceeded to close down the White House pandemic office a year later.
It should come as no surprise then that the federal government has failed – since day one – to adequately respond to this global health emergency. They’ve been asleep at the wheel all along.
Donald Trump has nobody to blame but himself for his disastrous mismanagement of this pandemic.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.