McConnell Says He Was ‘Wrong’ to Claim That Obama Administration Left No Pandemic Plan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attends lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 14, 2020. (Erin Scott / Reuters)

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday that his claim that the Obama administration left no plan for a national pandemic was “wrong” and that there was in fact a playbook for the Trump administration.

“I was wrong,” McConnell said during an interview with Fox News.

“They did leave a plan. So I clearly made a mistake in that regard, ”continued the majority leader. “About whether or not to follow the plan and who the critic is and the rest, I don’t have a single comment on that because I don’t know enough about the details to comment on it in detail.”

Earlier this week, McConnell criticized the Obama administration for not leaving a “game plan” for a health emergency on this scale.

“They claim pandemics only occur once every hundred years, but what if that’s no longer true? We want to be early, ready for the next one, because it’s clear that the Obama administration has no game plan whatsoever for this government left, ”said the Kentucky Republican at an online Trump campaign event where he was interviewed by Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law.

At the event, McConnell also responded to reports that Obama privately told his employees that the Trump administration’s response to the health emergency is an “utterly chaotic disaster.” The Kentucky Republican said Obama should have “kept his mouth shut” and called the former president’s criticism of the way the current government is tackling the pandemic “a little classless.”

Obama officials left the Trump administration with the Playbook for early response to imminent infectious diseases and high-impact biological incidents, asking questions officials should ask early when faced with a potential pandemic, such as whether there are enough personal protective equipment are for health professionals. The National Security Council’s 69-page plan also recommends officials investigate whether to invoke the Defense Production Act and, in such an emergency, call for a “unified message” from the federal government.

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