“I was wrong. They did leave behind a plan, so I clearly made a mistake in that regard,” McConnell said during an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier.
“They claim pandemics only happen once every hundred years but what if that’s no longer true? We want to be early, ready for the next one, because clearly the Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like this,” McConnell had said Monday.
In reality, former President Barrack Obama’s White House National Security Council left the Trump administration a detailed document on how to respond to a pandemic.
The playbook 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.
Additionally, outgoing senior Obama officials also led an in-person pandemic response exercise for senior incoming Trump officials in January 2017 — as required by a new law on improving presidential transitions that Obama signed in 2016.
Still, McConnell added Thursday that “as to whether or not the plan was followed and who’s the critic and all the rest, I don’t have any observation about that because I don’t know enough about the details of that to comment on it in any detail.”