Trump tried to blame Obama for the pandemic preparedness plan that he never read while claiming that he came up with a better plan.
Transcript via the White House:
MS. MCENANY: Hi, there. I just wanted to outline our pandemic preparedness. The Obama-Biden plan that has been referenced was insufficient; it wasn’t going to work. So what our administration did, under the leadership of President Trump, is do an entire 2018 Pandemic Preparedness Report.
Beyond that, we did a whole exercise on pandemic preparedness in August of last year and had an entire after-action report put together. In other words, the Obama-Biden paper packet was superseded by a President Trump-style Pandemic Preparedness Response plan.
THE PRESIDENT: Which was much better, which was much more complete, and which was a lot tougher. We were — we were given very little when we came into this administration. And they’ve done a fantastic job. And I think we’re going to have a vaccine by the end of the year, and I think distribution will take place almost simultaneously because we’ve geared up the military. And you’ll see that tomorrow.
The plan that Trump and his press secretary dismissed as a "paper packet" was actually a 69 page detailed step by step plan complete with checklists for how the federal government should respond to a pandemic. Trump ignored it. pic.twitter.com/TS0wti5Rbn
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) May 14, 2020
The playbook — 40 pages plus appendices — contains step-by-step advice on questions to ask, decisions to make, and which federal agencies are responsible for what. It includes sample documents that officials could use for inter-agency meetings. And it explicitly lists novel coronaviruses as one of the kinds of pathogens that could require a major response.
The color-coded, checklist-style document addresses issues like testing, funding, personal protective equipment, emergency declarations, border control measures, diplomacy, the use of the military, public communication, even mortuary services.
The Obama plan also came with a list of detailed questions to ask at each stage of the process, which is exactly what one would expect from an intelligent, thoughtful, and highly competent administration. The Trump administration ignored the plan and the pandemic, which is why Trump is spending his time making pathetic excuses, instead of cleaning up his mess.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association