File Under “Dishonesty”: the Game Plan

On Monday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell informed America that the reason the Trump administration’s response to the current health “situation” has been so dismal is not actually due to any fault of the Trump administration. Rather it is the fault of the Obama administration for failing to adequately prepare them for it. “[C]learly the Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like this,” McConnell said.

This is a pretty big whopper, even by current whopper standards.

In actual fact, the Obama administration left them a game plan. Although it was deceptively called The Playbook. In retrospect, they probably should have gone with The Game Plan. More specifically, it was called The Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents.

Perhaps the current administration didn’t recognize the game plan because the title contained too many words, most of them consisting of multiple syllables. Or maybe Team Trump was looking for something with a lot of X’s and O’s sketched out on a cocktail napkin.

Not only was there an actual game plan, but there was even a team practice. The outgoing administration actually led the incoming administration in a table-top exercise where the whole squad learned how to respond effectively to a pandemic. Hard to argue the Obama Team didn’t try to prepare them.

In any case, it’s worth noting that Barack Obama and members of his administration have not actually occupied the White House in OVER THREE YEARS. In the meantime, if the Trump administration thought there should be a plan for how to respond to a pandemic, or really any other crisis, disaster, or catastrophe, they were FREE TO CREATE THEIR OWN PLAN. Nobody would have stopped them. Really. Nobody.

It’s possible that the reason Trump folks didn’t get a chance to put together a plan of their own is that they were too busy dismantling the actual team that would have put the plan into effect. It was called The Pandemic Preparedness Office (note: it was in fact an “office” and not a “team.” I can see where that might have been confusing.) It was established in 2015 by (you probably already guessed it) Barack Obama. And abolished by Trump in 2018. They’ve also been somewhat preoccupied with cutting, gutting, corrupting, and dismantling every other department and office in the federal government that existed to protect stuff like the environment, the economy, education, consumers, the safety of our food chain, the integrity of the airwaves, the middle class, and poor people among other things. A presidential administration can get pretty distracted with all that thirsty work.

At any rate, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Trump enablers can say whatever the hell they want. But just so they know, there are people out here who know exactly what game they’re playing.

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