Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday walked back comments made earlier this week that the Obama administration didn’t leave behind a “game plan” for a pandemic.
“They claim pandemics only happen once every hundred years but what if that’s no longer true? 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,” McConnell said during a Trump campaign event with Lara Trump.
His comments sparked an immediate backlash from former Obama administration officials.
Ronald Klain, who was the Ebola coordinator for the Obama administration, tweeted that “we literally left them a 69-page Pandemic Playbook…. that they ignored.”
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% https://t.co/OD94v0UI4n
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) May 12, 2020
Fox News host Bret Baier confronted McConnell about the remarks in an interview Thursday.
“I was wrong,” McConnell said when asked about his comments during a Fox News interview.
“They did leave behind a plan. I clearly made a mistake in that regard,” he said.
“As to whether or not the plan was followed and who is the critic and all the rest, I don’t have any observation about that because I don’t know enough about the details of that … to comment on it in any detail,” he added.
Mitch McConnell is backed into a corner and forced to admit he lied about the Obama administration not leaving a pandemic plan, on Fox.pic.twitter.com/dQCNro43XS
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) May 14, 2020