McConnell admits he was wrong to say Obama administration didn't leave pandemic response plan

President Trump claims his administration's plan is 'a lot tougher' than the one it inherited

John T. Bennett
Washington DC
@BennettJohnT
Friday 15 May 2020 14:59
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Mitch McConnell claims the Obama administration did not leave them a 'game plan' for a pandemic

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has admitted he incorrectly accused the Obama administration of failing to leave behind a comprehensive pandemic response plan.

"I was wrong – they did leave behind a plan. So I clearly made a mistake in that regard," the Kentucky Republican said on Fox News on Thursday evening.

"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," he added.

Earlier this week, the majority leader said the Obama administration "did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like this." That remark came during an online interview with Lara Trump, a senior adviser to her father-in-law's re-election campaign.

His acknowledgement of the mistake came a few hours after White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany appeared with Donald Trump on the South Lawn with a copy of the Obama administration's pandemic response plan.

She held up a printed copy of that blueprint, the front cover page on which she appeared to have scribbled note. Describing it as lackluster, she tried linking that plan to former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee who will face Mr Trump in the general election.

"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,'" she said.

"Beyond that, we did a whole exercise on pandemic preparedness in August of last year and had an entire after-action report put together," Ms McEnany added. "In other words, the Obama-Biden paper packet was superseded by a President Trump-style Pandemic Preparedness Response plan."

She is slated to talk more about the Trump administration's revised plan during a press briefing at 2 p.m. on Friday. Mr Trump is not expected to join her, but he weighed in on his administration's pandemic plan on Thursday.

"Which was much better, which was much more complete, and which was a lot tougher," he said before yet again blaming the last administration. "We were given very little when we came into this administration."

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