President George W. Bush in 2005: “There is no pandemic flu in our country or in the world at this time. But if we wait for a pandemic to appear, it will be too late to prepare. And one day many lives could be needlessly lost because we failed to act today.” pic.twitter.com/vq0j13DwLL
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 5, 2020
Courtesy of ABC News:
In the summer of 2005, President George W. Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he began flipping through an advance reading copy of a new book about the 1918 flu pandemic. He couldn’t put it down.
When he returned to Washington, he called his top homeland security adviser into the Oval Office and gave her the galley of historian John M. Barry’s “The Great Influenza,” which told the chilling tale of the mysterious plague that “would kill more people than the outbreak of any other disease in human history.”
“You’ve got to read this,” Fran Townsend remembers the president telling her. “He said, ‘Look, this happens every 100 years. We need a national strategy.'”
Thus was born the nation’s most comprehensive pandemic plan — a playbook that included diagrams for a global early warning system, funding to develop new, rapid vaccine technology, and a robust national stockpile of critical supplies, such as face masks and ventilators, Townsend said.
The effort was intense over the ensuing three years, including exercises where cabinet officials gamed out their responses, but it was not sustained. Large swaths of the ambitious plan were either not fully realized or entirely shelved as other priorities and crises took hold.
I would assume those “other priorities” included a financial crisis that damn near bankrupted the entire country, so I guess it makes sense that Bush lost focus on this, which is a damn shame.
So this means that both the Bush and Obama administrations had policies in place to handle a pandemic, which suggests that when Trump says that nobody could have predicted this, he is simply admitting that HE could not have predicted this.
Do you know who else predicted it?
Dr. Fauci, that’s who.
Courtesy of Yahoo News:
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease specialist, warned in early 2017 that a “surprise outbreak” would occur during the Trump administration, and he said that more needed to be done to prepare for a pandemic.
“There is no question that there will be a challenge to the coming administration in the arena of infectious diseases,” he said in a speech titled “Pandemic Preparedness in the Next Administration” at Georgetown University Medical Center. He delivered it just days before Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017.
“No matter what, history has told us definitively that [outbreaks] will happen,” he said. “It is a perpetual challenge. It is not going to go away. The thing we’re extraordinarily confident about is that we are going to see this in the next few years.”
I would love it if some erstwhile reporter asked Dr. Fauci about this right in front of Trump at their next Coronavirus press conference.
Speaking of Trump, Fauci, and those press conferences did any of you catch this bullshit yesterday?
“I answered this 15 times. You don’t have to answer.” — Trump prevents Dr Fauci from answering a question about hydroxychloroquine pic.twitter.com/8R1K1hDsaX
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 6, 2020
I am really curious as to how much stock Trump has bought in the company that manufactures Hydroxychloroquine, because you know that’s what’s going on here.