President Donald Trump had his press secretary trounce the Obama administration’s pandemic preparedness playbook while claiming they created a “Trump style pandemic preparedness response plan” two years ago.
McEnany called the Obama plan “insufficient,” and a mere “paper packet.”
President Obama created an entire White House Office that focused on just preparing for pandemics, the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense. President Trump gutted that office, and ignored the plan that was created which would have sped up and improved Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
“I just wanted to outline our pandemic preparedness,” Kayleigh McEnany, who joined the administration just five weeks ago, told reporters Thursday.
“The Obama-Biden plan that has been referenced was insufficient, wasn’t going to work,” McEnany said, holding up a bare few pages of paper.
The report is 69-pages long and reports show the Trump administration enacted several parts (whether knowingly or not) of it but weeks later than the plan directed. Those weeks were crucial and lives could have been saved were it not for their inaction.
“So what our administration did, under the leadership of President Trump was do an entire 2018 pandemic preparedness report,” McEnany said, holding up a binder with a graphic on the cover.
The Trump administration has never made mention of a 2018 pandemic preparedness report, nor is there any reference to it online until today.
“Beyond that we did a whole exercise on pandemic preparedness in August of last year, and had an entire after action report put together.” If true, that would literally be the very lowest expectation for any government office to fulfill. She did not say who was in charge of creating the 2018 report, or if anyone followed up on whatever findings of weaknesses were revealed in the after action report.
“In other words, the Obama-Biden paper packet was superseded by a President Trump style pandemic preparedness response plan,” McEnany declared.
Trump and Kayleigh McEnany are now trying to dismiss the pandemic response plan Obama left for Trump as a mere "paper packet" that paled in comparison to Trump's (nonexistent) plan pic.twitter.com/lsQ8UJUqK7
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 14, 2020
There are several examples of the Trump administration co-opting original work from the Obama administration and rebranding it as their own. Among them, Melania Trump’s 2016 RNC speech, which some say was plagiarized from a Michelle Obama address.
Another example, via CNN fact checker Daniel Dale:
Trump has told this lie about Veterans Choice more than 100 times as president. He’s now using it to explain why he shouldn’t be impeached.
Obama signed Choice into law in 2014. Trump signed a law in 2018, the VA MISSION Act, to change and expand the program, not to create it. pic.twitter.com/WRxIyU6zdy
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 28, 2019
President Trump went on the claim his pandemic preparedness response plan was “much better, much more complete,” and “a lot tougher” than Obama’s.
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