Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice under President Barack Obama unloaded on President Donald Trump’s disastrous response to the unfurling coronavirus pandemic.
In an on-air interview with CNN, Rice took issue with Trump’s claim that no one could have foreseen the crisis.
“We knew that this was a serious and impending risk,” she said. “That’s why, under the Obama administration, we set up, I set up — with Lisa Monaco in the White House, in the National Security Council, an office for global health security and biodefense. We staffed it with a senior person and made sure that they could report directly to the national security adviser and the homeland security adviser. Two years ago, that office was dismantled.”
She continued: “In the last week of the Obama administration, we had an exercise with the incoming leadership of the Trump administration. We sat down, for hours, side by side, and one of the key scenarios we ran with them was very much this one: What happens when you have a global pandemic of this sort?”
As the New York Times reported, she noted, the Trump administration ran through exercises as recently as last year that demonstrated that the country wasn’t prepared for a pandemic. But nothing was done to address the gaping holes in the system.
She blasted Trump for repeatedly claiming: “Who could have imagined this? Who could have predicted this? We had no idea this could come!”
“Well, that’s just false!” she said. “Not only did we know it could come, we should have prepared for it to come. As we did in the Obama administration, and as we gave them the wherewithal to do in the Trump administration.”
Watch the clip below.
Fmr. Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice says she told her successor at the time, Michael Flynn, about “the pandemic concern, the pandemic scenario, the global health agenda,” at a hand-off briefing during the Trump administration transition period. pic.twitter.com/dVLxw1AyGw
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) March 19, 2020
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