Rick Bright testifies that we still “don’t have a master plan for (the COVID-19) response,” and McConnell concedes that, yes, the Obama administration did leave a detailed pandemic response plan, but that Trump just didn’t follow it

Two interesting things happened in the real world yesterday as fucking idiots with assault weapons gathered in Lansing, shutting down the capitol to speculate about the imaginary crimes committed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and fantasize about her assassination. Rick Bright, a former high-ranking vaccine official at the Department of Health and Human Services, testified before Congress that, several months into the pandemic, we still “don’t have a master plan for this response,” and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell conceded that he was wrong when he said earlier this week that President Obama did not leave Donald Trump a detailed plan as to how an administration should respond to a pandemic. “They did leave behind a plan,” the Senator from Kentucky conceded, walking back his claim on Monday that “(T)he Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like this.”

One would think, after over three years in office, the Trump administration could have drafted their own plan, but apparently, to hear the Republicans tell it, it was Obama’s job to hold Trump’s hand through the entirety of his administration. [For what it’s worth, I never heard Roosevelt complain that Hoover left him without a battle plan for WWII.] But, in this case, that’s pretty much exactly what happened. As we’ve discussed before, In early 2017, members of the Obama administration public health team met with 30 Trump officials, to walk them through a number of pandemic scenarios and discuss the federal government’s pandemic flu playbook, which had been in existence, and evolving, since 2005.

Here’s Bright, testifying before the House today.

If you’ll recall, Bright says that he was forced from his office for — in the words of the New York Times — standing up to pressure that he “direct money toward hydroxychloroquine, one of several ‘potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections’ and repeatedly described by the president as a potential ‘game changer’ in the fight against the virus. [Again, if you though thought the Ukraine hearings were insane, just wait until members of the House start digging into how Trump was self-dealing during the pandemic.] Now here’s that video of McConnell.

And, this, my friends, is why every other word out of Donald Trump’s mouth these past several days has been about the imagined non-scandal of “Obamagate”. He was left with a detailed pandemic response plan, he chose not to follow it, and the United States now leads the world with over 86,000 dead.

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  1. iRobert
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    #Clintongate “Lock her up!”
    #Bidengate “Lock him up!”
    #Obamagate “Deport him back to Kenya!”

    Trump’s Three point plan for eradicating COVID-19 and making America great again.

  2. iRobert
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    McConnell was right that the lack of pandemic emergency plans was an absolute and massively fatal failure of a pathetically incompetent President and administration. He just got one small detail wrong, and that’s all propagandists like you can focus on, Mark.

  3. Lynne
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    LOL. Yeah just a *small* detail

  4. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Aloha here is some potential good news. I really doubt that the Leader has the 42 million.
    To see what all the “non-disclosure” provisions will provide hours of future distractions.


  5. Anonymous
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    #TrumpHasNoPlan is trending on Twitter.

  6. EOS
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Does anyone have a link to Obama’s 70 page plan?

  7. Nobody
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    c’mon EOS. It wasn’t that hard to find…..


  8. EOS
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Thanks, I was hoping to download the document as a PDF.

  9. Nobody
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Go to the bottom left of the viewer, click on the expand icon, go to the top of the right side, and click on “original document (PDF )”

    boomer : )

  10. Bob
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Dems need to all be referring to Covid as “The Trump Virus.” They are idiots if they don’t learn something from his branding skill.

  11. Demetrius
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    #No Plan-demic

  12. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Aloha everyone who frequents these posts knows I am a slow witted dolt. Somebody please explain this story.


    The “announcement” from Prosecutor Worthy’s office announcing the arrest was today, and also covered (less detailed) by the Detroit News. What is weird is they are announcing an arrest that occurred April 14. The defendant was arraigned on “terrorism” charges April 22.
    I cant find a single article article about this more than 13 hours old. Why an announcement today.
    Answers to these questions would be interesting

  13. Kim
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I followed your link, Bet. The photo of Robert Sinclair Tesh, the fellow arrested for terrorism, is pretty intense.

  14. Posted May 15, 2020 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Let’s see how this plays with the base… The Trump team is saying that the plan they’re putting into effect now is better than the plan that Obama left them with, which they never acted on, because it’s…. IN A BINDER!

  15. iRobert
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Have you read through the Obama Administration plan yet, EOS?

    Do you have a copy of what’s in the Trump Administrations two binders?

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    You know Trump has screwed up bigot when The Lancet makes a political endorsement. Unprecedented.

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted May 15, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    ‘‘Twas supposed to be bigly but let bigot stand.

    This is the guy who decided it was ok to pen the country once he realized Brown and black people are dying at much greater rates. I’m not saying it’s intentional;I just think he’s had a lot of practice not paying attention to Black people unless calling for their execution or for their White executioners to go free.

  18. EOS
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 4:04 am | Permalink


    Yes, I skimmed through the plan once I downloaded it on a computer and stopped trying to read a 70 page document on my phone. I didn’t think it was helpful at all. Though I am not privy to Trump’s two binders, I doubt they will be any better.

  19. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Explains a lot

    Covert Narcissists SECRET CrazyMaking Communication Weapon They Use To ABUSE


  20. Demetrius
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    It was clear to anyone who was paying attention to what was going on in China back in January that this virus was likely to become a pandemic, and was going to wreak havoc around the globe – including here in the U.S.

    That the Federal Government failed to pay attention to these warning signals, or take appropriate measures to prepare for and mitigate the worst effects, represents nothing less than negligence of the highest order.

    To make matters worse, we have a President who openly mocks science, and scientists (or anyone, really, who may knows something he doesn’t); and an administration full of greedy, ill-informed sycophants who are way more interested in continually demonstrating their loyalty (keeping their positions, and making money) than in protecting the public, or telling the truth.

    One might ask: “Where’s the outrage?” But as it turns, the only outrage these days seems to be coming from groups of selfish, angry (and frequently armed) people who seem to believe their “right” to get a haircut …or a manicure … or a tattoo … is more important than the rights of those of us who are trying to keep our elderly and medically-challenged friends and family members safe.

    At some point, a culture and a nation is only as good as its people. If we have “leaders” who are unable and/or unwilling to lead; and if we have “citizens” who lack the logic and reasoning skills required to weigh consequences, make rational decisions, and put aside petty- short-term desires in the interest of achieving broader longer-term goals – then what’s the point?

    I’m tired of trying to argue that facts matter. That competence and experience matter. That making short-term sacrifices to achieve longer-term goals is a mark of responsibility and maturity. That those of us who are relatively young and healthy have an obligation to look out for and protect those among us who are older and more frail. That “leaders” who are charged with the responsibility of guiding and protecting the nation and its citizens should be held accountable when they fail to do so …

    At some point in our history, it seems that we as Americans made a collective, conscious (or more likely unconscious) decision to shrug off individual and collective responsibility, turn away from unpleasant facts or consequences, and to live instead (like children) only in the moment.

    One could argue it started in 1980, when a Hollywood actor named Ronald Reagan stepped up to his mark and began reciting lines about “Morning in America.” One could argue it happened when not a single member of the Bush Administration was held responsible for their war crimes following the Iraq War. One could argue it happened when not a single banker or Wall Street chieftain was prosecuted for causing the 2008 financial crisis.

    Personally, I think the turning point may have come following Sandy Hook – when not even the cold-blooded murder of 20 six- and seven-year-old children was enough to make America stop in its tracks long enough to demand (let alone pass) sensible gun-control legislation.

    Sorry to be such a downer this Saturday morning, but I’m really disgusted, and tired … sick to death of dealing with the outright stupidity, and foolishness, and childishness that exemplifies so much of public (and private) life these days.

  21. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Fauci said it was nothing Americans need to worry about in February. Look how easy it is to use s fact to deconstruct a rant.

  22. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    how easy to use *a* fact

  23. Demetrius
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    When Fauci said that back in February, he was largely right. At that point, there were relatively few known cases in the U.S., and therefore little (or nothing) most ordinary Americans could do to avoid exposure.

    On the other hand, there was PLENTY federal government leaders could have (should have) done to begin preparing for the inevitable outbreak – such as providing timely information and guidance to state and local health departments; making sure hospitals and health systems had plenty of PPE; providing enhanced guidance to nursing homes and care facilities; conducting more rigorous testing, and quarantines of incoming visitors, etc.

  24. Nobody
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Demetrius –

    The turning point seems to have happened when the word “ought” left our collective vocabulary.

  25. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    With false information emanating from China and the WHO how could the President or anyone else have an accurate understanding of the virus? ‘Armchair quarterbacking’ it’s called. Hindsight is 20/20. Everyone knows it.

    Trump acted decisively when dems were actively telling people to go out as normal. They even pushed not giving in to racism and going out of your way to go to Chinese New Year celebrations! What a bunch of creeps.

    Fauci is the longtime Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He is seen as the top expert on infectious disease in government or anywhere and he gave terrible advice about it. Trump’s move to stop the spread from China was way ahead of Mr. Top Expert.

    Demands by governors for equipment were in fact answered with more than they can use. Cuomo was up there in his irritating voice saying “What am I gonna do with 4,000 ventilators when I need 40,000!” Dork didn’t need 40,000 or anything like that. This is ridiculous.

  26. Demetrius
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    1. State governors and public health officials repeatedly implore people to practice social distancing measure in an effort bend the transmission curve, prevent a rapid acceleration in new infections, conserve limited medical resources, and prevent needless suffering and death.

    2. Many (most) people make a good faith effort to follow these guidelines. As a consequence, the case growth is dramatically slowed; most hospitals are spared the worst possible scenarios, and countless lives are saved.

    3. Instead of being relieved and celebrating this tremendous good news as a triumph of positive collective action – the usual suspects instead use the lack of profound illness and death to claim the whole thing was overblown … that none of it was really even necessary.

  27. Demetrius
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    4. Many of these usual suspects are unable to comprehend even the most basic scientific principles, are therefore unable to understand how asking millions of people to modify their daily habits can have a dramatic positive impact on others – including possibly saving the lives of their family and friends, as well as people they don’t even know.

    5. Many of these same people decide to put on their best camo and American flag apparel, strap on a gun (or a rocket launcher), and march on Lansing, claiming THEY are the true “victims” because they’re temporarily prevented from getting a haircut, a manicure, or a tattoo …

  28. Posted May 16, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I hear you, Demetrius. I’m right there with you.

  29. Anonymous
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Bright’s refusal to get behind Hydroxychloroquine, this is new reporting from the Washington Post:

    Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug President Trump encouraged as a treatment for covid-19 patients, is not only ineffective but significantly increases the risk of death for some, new evidence suggests.

    “Alarmed by a growing cache of data linking the anti-malaria drug to serious cardiac problems, some drug safety experts are now calling for even more forceful action by the government to discourage its use,” The Post reported. Read about how some of those experts are calling for the Food and Drug Administration to revoke the emergency authorization it granted for use of the drug during Trump’s sales pitches.

    But hydroxychloroquine has already become a cure-all in the minds of some Americans who hoarded it. This week an anti-quarantine protester in Long Island pursued a local news reporter trying to keep his distance. “I’ve got hydroxychloroquine, I’m fine!” the man said.

    Trump has stopped talking about hydroxychloroquine and moved on to promoting a White House effort to invent, test and manufacture coronavirus vaccines for hundreds of millions of people by January. The president unveiled his “Operation Warp Speed” program on Friday, but scientists are skeptical it can deliver so quickly, when vaccines typically take years to make. “The leading candidates in the U.S. effort so far are an experiment in every sense of the word, drawing on exciting new technologies that have never before been used in an approved vaccine,” The Post reported.

  30. Bob
    Posted May 16, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    In other news. Justin Amash turns out to be the giant loser we always figured he was.

  31. Lynne
    Posted May 18, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Yeah, Demitrius, what you said!

  32. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted May 20, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Aloha, for those keeping score. Oshkosh now has confirmed 124 cases of the Trump virus. That is a 24% increase since the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that it was ok to go to the bars and infect complete strangers.

  33. iRobert
    Posted May 21, 2020 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Maybe next pandemic we’ll get it right.

  34. iRobert
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Youve had some time to get it now, EOS. Have you read through a copy of what’s in the Trump Administrations two binders?

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