Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) backpedaled on Thursday night after accusing former President Barack Obama administration of leaving President Donald Trump unprepared to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was wrong,” the GOP leader told Fox News host Bret Baier. “They did leave behind a plan.”
“So I clearly made a mistake in that regard,” he added.
During a virtual Trump campaign event on Monday, McConnell had made the false claim about the Obama administration, which has been manufactured by Trump in an effort to shift blame for his own administration’s feeble response to the outbreak.
“We want to be early, ready for the next [pandemic], because clearly the Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like this,” McConnell said on Monday.
Former Obama administration Ebola response coordinator Ronald Klain and Obama administration deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes pushed back on the senator’s claim that same day.
“We literally left them a 69-page Pandemic Playbook…. that they ignored. And an office called the Pandemic Preparedness Office…that they abolished. And a global monitoring system called PREDICT…that they cut by 75%,” Klain tweeted.
“The maddening thing is Obama left them a WH office for pandemics, a literal playbook, a cabinet-level exercise, and a global infrastructure to deal with ‘something like this,'” Rhodes tweeted.
And a Politico report confirms that the Obama administration did leave behind a 69-page playbook on handling pandemics by its National Security Council.
Watch McConnell below:
McConnell admits Obama admin did have a plan for handling pandemics after all: “I was wrong." pic.twitter.com/MVcZtJ2zSo
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) May 15, 2020