Tags: Barack Obama | Coronavirus | Donald Trump | George W. Bush | Trump Administration | health officials | strategy

Ex-officials: Trump Didn't Use Strategies Detailed in Pandemic 'Playbooks'

birx in a silver dress fauci in a suit and navy blue tie and pence in a striped tie
Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Dr. Deborah Birx listen during a news briefing on the latest development of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. on March 20, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 29 July 2020 10:08 AM

Public health officials under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama detailed the great lengths to which previous administrations planned for viral infectious disease pandemics and condemned the Trump administration for failing to put into action the strategies gathered as a result of those efforts, ABC News reported on Wednesday.

The strategies prepared by previous administrations ignored by Trump include taking early and aggressive actions based on science, clear communication to the public, and working together with international and state partners, these officials said in talking with ABC as part of its coronavirus special, “American Catastrophe: How Did We Get Here?”

“A lot of what you see in the planning from the mid-2000s in my time in the White House under President Bush really applies to today — no question,” said Tom Bossert, a homeland security adviser to Bush at the time and later to Trump before leaving the administration in April 2018.

Ron Klain, the Obama White House’s Ebola response coordinator, said “They didn't run the plays. And it would have made a big difference if they had.”

He described Obama's “pandemic playbook” as “a step-by-step process for ramping up a response, for ramping up testing, tracing, all the things that were needed.”

A senior Trump administration insisted these playbooks were consulted and that ideas from them were incorporated into the administration’s response, but he couldn't come up with a specific example.

Elizabeth Neumann, who was the assistant Homeland Security secretary for threat prevention and security policy until April, said Trump did do “many of the things called for in those plans … but there seems to have been just a slowness in getting to the point of actually turning on the engines.”

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Public health officials under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama detailed the great lengths to which previous administrations planned for viral infectious disease pandemics and...
health officials, strategy, pandemic playbooks
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2020-08-29
Wednesday, 29 July 2020 10:08 AM
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