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McConnell: I Misspoke in an Obama Criticism

Previous White House did leave behind a pandemic plan
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2020 10:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – Mitch McConnell is walking back a criticism of President Obama. In an interview on Fox News Thursday, the Senate majority leader acknowledged that the Obama administration did, in fact, leave behind a plan for handling a pandemic, reports USA Today. "I was wrong," McConnell said. "They did leave behind a plan. So, I clearly made a mistake in that regard." Earlier in the week, McConnell slammed Obama for his criticism of the Trump administration's response to the outbreak, adding, "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."

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But as Politico reported in March, the Obama White House actually left behind a 69-page National Security Council "playbook" on a pandemic. A sample on protective equipment: "Is there sufficient personal protective equipment for healthcare workers who are providing medical care?" it asks. "If YES: What are the triggers to signal exhaustion of supplies? Are additional supplies available? If NO: Should the Strategic National Stockpile release PPE to states?" In response to the McConnell remarks, White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany said the "Obama-Biden plan that has been referenced was insufficient, wasn't going to work," per NBC News. It was replaced by a better one from the Trump White House, she added. (Read more Mitch McConnell stories.)

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