The coronavirus pandemic has led to more than 80,000 deaths in the U.S., and put more than 26 million Americans out of a job. Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump are trying to place blame on former President Barack Obama.
According to Yahoo Finance, McConnell said that Obama’s team, which exited office over three years ago, “did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like [the coronavirus pandemic].”
The statement was made during a dialogue with Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, and live-streamed by the Trump campaign on Monday evening.
However, Politico reported that the Obama administration left the Trump administration a large document titled the “Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents.”
The document warned of potential problems like shortages in personal protective equipment and how to address those issues. However, the Trump administration neglected to implement its recommendations.
“We literally left them a 69-page Pandemic Playbook…. that they ignored,” Ron Klain, who oversaw the Ebola response under Obama, tweeted. “And an office called the Pandemic Preparedness Office… that they abolished. And a global monitoring system called PREDICT .. that they cut by 75%.”
“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,’” tweeted former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes.
Earlier this week, McConnell called Obama “classless” for criticizing the federal government’s coronavirus response, saying that he “should have kept his mouth shut.
“You know, we know he doesn’t like much [what this] administration is doing, that’s understandable,” said the Republican Kentucky senator. “But I think it’s a little bit classless, frankly, to critique an administration that comes after you. You had your shot, you were there for eight years.
Earlier this month, Trump accused Obama of “the biggest crime in political history,” but when pressed by reporters to explain himself, Trump refused to explain what crime Obama committed.
“You know what the crime is,” Trump told reporters after multiple members of the press made it clear they did not know what the crime was. “The crime is very obvious to everybody.”
President Trump and Obama have gone back and forth in recent months as the 2020 Presidential Election gets closer.
In April, Obama compared Trump’s slow coronavirus response to climate change deniers.
“We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic,” Obama wrote on Twitter. “We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall.”