The White House pushed back on the media narrative that the Obama administration left behind a pandemic â€œplaybookâ€� for the Trump administration.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Friday that the playbook from the Obama administration was an insufficient packet of paper, and that the Trump administrationâ€™s own pandemic response exercise in 2019 exposed its shortcomings.Â
On Thursday, Dr. Rick Bright, a senior adviser at the National Institutes of Health who filed a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump, told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health that the administration should have known more about the coronavirus.Â
As a result, Bright said, â€œwe were not as prepared as we should have been.â€�Â
â€œWe missed early warning signals and we forgot important pages from our pandemic playbook,â€� Bright said. â€œThere will be plenty of time to identify gaps for improvement.â€�
Much of the mainstream media, including CNN, Politico, and PBS, ran with the narrative that the Obama administration left a pathway for the Trump administration to better handle the coronavirus.
That wasnâ€™t the case., McEnany said during the Friday press briefing. Â
â€œSome have erroneously suggested that the Trump administration threw out the pandemic response playbook left by the Obama-Biden administration,â€� McEnany said, holding up documents from the podium. â€œWhat the critics fail to note, however, is that this thin packet of paper was replaced by two detailed, robust pandemic response reports commissioned by the Trump administration.â€�
â€œIn 2018, the Trump administration issued our pandemic crisis action plan,â€� she said, adding:
Further, from August 13th to the 16th, the Trump administration conducted the Crimson Contagion 2019 Functional Exercise. This was a pandemic simulation to test the nation’s ability to respond to a large-scale outbreak.Â
In January of 2020, [the Department of Health and Human Services] issued the Crimson Contagion 2019 Functional Exercise after-action report. This exercise exposed the shortcomings in legacy planning documents, which informed President Trumpâ€™s coronavirus response.
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