White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany pushed back against reports that the administration threw out a pandemic response plan left by the Obama administration, saying the the Trump administration simply replaced it, during a press briefing Friday afternoon.
"Some have erroneously suggested that the Trump administration threw out the pandemic response playbook left by the Obama-Biden administration," McEnany said, holding up a packet of papers. "What the critics failed to note, however, is that this thin packet of paper was replaced by two detailed, robust pandemic response reports commissioned by the Trump administration."
McEnany then held up two binders. It wasn't possible to compare the binders to the documents she held up previously, which were not in binders.
"So we exchanged this one... for these two pandemic response plans," she added.
One binder was a 2018 pandemic crisis action plan, McEnany said, and the other was the "Crimson Contagion 2019 after-action report," which "exposed... the shortcomings in legacy planning documents which informed President Trump's coronavirus response."
But McEnany was short on the details when it came to the reports.
Asked about Crimson Contagion, an exercise that gamed out the US response to a pandemic, and if it recommended early and widespread testing in the event of the pandemic, she said she didn't know.
"What it basically did was say to us, look, some of the previous iterations of plans have put HHS in the lead, HHS of course plays a critical role in our response, but one of the things that was identified was you need a whole of government response from the highest levels," she answered.
Remember: CNN fact-checked claims from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that Obama didn't leave Trump a pandemic "game plan."
McConnell falsely accused the Obama administration of failing to leave the Trump administration "any kind of game plan" for something like the coronavirus pandemic.
Appearing Monday in a Trump campaign online chat with Lara Trump, the President's daughter-in-law and campaign senior adviser, McConnell slammed Obama for criticizing Trump's coronavirus response as an "absolute chaotic disaster" on a private call last week with former staffers.
As Trump has done repeatedly during the pandemic, McConnell also laid undeserved blame at Obama's feet.
"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.
"That's exactly right," Lara Trump responded.
It was the opposite of right.
Facts First: Obama's White House National Security Council left the Trump administration a detailed document on how to respond to a pandemic. The document, whose existence was publicly revealed by Politico in March, is called the Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents.
"We literally left them a 69-page Pandemic Playbook.... that they ignored," Ronald Klain, a campaign adviser to Democratic candidate Joe Biden and the former Obama administration Ebola response coordinator, wrote on Twitter.
Ex-Obama official tells CNN: We left Trump detailed pandemic playbook