Monday, October 26, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt nineteen)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

“I brought up Trump’s comments at a press briefing the previous week, when he had said “I don’t take responsibility at all” for the crisis.

“I don’t take responsibility for this,” Trump told me. “I have nothing to do with this. I take responsibility for solving the problem. But I don’t take responsibility for this, no. We did a good job. The Obama administration—they were obsolete tests. And in all fairness to them, nobody ever thought in terms of millions of people.”

I could find no support for Trump’s claim, repeated several times in public remarks, tha the Obama administration left behind “obsolete” or “broken” tests. Obama’s National Security Council had left behind a 69-page document titled “Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Diseases Threats and Biological Incidents” that included instructions for dealing with novel influenza viruses which “would produce an estimate of between 700,000 and 1.4 billion fatalities from a pandemic of a virulent influenza virus strain.” The document recommended officials in the early stages of such a pandemic check the nation’s diagnostic testing capacity and the amount of personal protective equipment available for health care workers.

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