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Pandemic: Obama's Team Warned Trump to Prepare


One week before Donald Trump took office, the Obama administration briefed the new president's transition team that he should prepare for an emerging pandemic, much like the coronavirus that has claimed more than 28,000 lives as of 7 pm tonight.


The warning came in an exercise that ran the Trump team through a series of pandemic-scenarios to familiarize them with "domestic incident management policy and practices" should such a crisis occur, reported POLITICO on March 16.


The exercise was focused on a strain of novel influenza known as H9N2 that was crashing health systems in Asia, overwhelmed by demand, that could result in the worst pandemic since 1918.


"But unlike the coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging the globe, this 2017 crisis didn’t really happen — it was among a handful of scenarios presented to Trump’s top aides as part of a legally required transition exercise with members of the outgoing administration of Barack Obama," POLITICO said.


Documents obtained by POLITICO from the meeting illustrate the extent to which Trump's transition team was warned about what preparations would be needed for a pandemic, exactly like the one that is ravaging the world today.


Key points in the discussion included:

  • A collective understanding of the science and the disease must drive response decisions;

  • Days and even hours are paramount in order to build as much lead time as possible;

  • A coordinated and unified national response and message is necessary; and

  • “Medical countermeasure strategy is key for success,” including social distancing and addressing shortages in ventilators and personal protective equipment.


Now, check out the list of Trump people who attended the meeting:

  • Steven Mnuchin, now Secretary of the Treasury

  • Rep. Mike Pompeo, now Secretary of State

  • Wilbur Ross, now Secretary of Commerce

  • Betsy DeVos, now Secretary of Education

  • Dr. Ben Carson, now Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

  • Elaine Chao, now Secretary of Transportation

  • Stephen Miller, now Senior Advisor to the President

  • Marc Short, now Vice President Mike Pence's Chief of Staff

  • Reince Priebus, resigned as White House Chief of Staff

  • Rex Tillerson, fired as Trump Secretary of State

  • Gen. James Mattis, fired as Trump Secretary of Defense

  • Rep. Ryan Zinke, resigned as Trump Secretary of the Interior

  • Sen. Jeff Sessions, resigned as Attorney General

  • Sen. Dan Coats, fired as Trump's Director of National Intelligence

  • Andrew Puzder, not confirmed as Secretary of Labor

  • Dr. Tom Price, resigned as Trump Secretary of Health and Human Services

  • Gov. Rick Perry, resigned as Trump Secretary of Labor

  • Dr. David Shulkin, fired as Trump Secretary of Veterans Affairs

  • Gen. John Kelly, resigned as White House Chief of Staff

  • Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and former acting White House Chief of Staff

  • Linda McMahon, resigned as Administrator of the Small Business Administration

  • Sean Spicer, fired as White House Communications Director and Press Secretary

  • Joe Hagin, resigned as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations

  • Joshua Pitcock, resigned as chief of staff to Vice President Pence

  • Tom Bossert, fired as Homeland Security Advisor

  • KT McFarland, resigned as Deputy National Security Advisor

  • Gen. Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor and now awaiting criminal sentencing for lying to the FBi in the Russia investigation

  • Gary Cohn, resigned as Trump Director of the National Economic Council and Chief Economic Advisor to the President

  • Katie Walsh, resigned as White House Deputy Chief of Staff

  • Rick Dearborn, resigned as White House Deputy Chief of Staff


A stellar group that clearly did nothing as a result of the briefing. And now, we're dealing with the consequences of that failure -- massive sickness and death, and a crashed economy.






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