Susan Rice: Obama admin gave Trump ‘pandemic for dummies playbook’

Former national security adviser Susan Rice laid blame for the severity of the U.S. coronavirus pandemic squarely on the shoulders of the Trump administration on Wednesday during an interview with the hosts of “The View.”

Rice, who served under former President Obama, accused the Trump White House of throwing out a playbook for dealing with global pandemics provided by the Obama White House.

“We prepared the administration with a pandemic for dummies playbook,” Rice said. “And a table-top exercise. And so many other briefings.”

“So the fault here, the tragic loss of 150,000 Americans and counting, is on Donald Trump and his gross mishandling of this pandemic,” she continued. “He said it would go away. He likened it to the flu … he’s urged kids to go back to school in communities where the virus is raging. Every step of the way, Donald Trump has put his own personal, political interests ahead of the health and the well-being and the economic security of Americans.”

Rice’s comments are some of the sharpest criticism aimed at the president by former members of the Obama administration as the outbreak continues to ravage the U.S. More than 4.3 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S. since the pandemic began, higher than any other country.

Obama administration officials reportedly briefed a number of incoming White House officials about pandemic response protocols in early 2017, but about two-thirds of those who attended had left the White House before the pandemic hit the U.S. this year.

Trump himself has refused to acknowledge any resources the Obama White House provided his staffers, instead labeling the former president “incompetent” when asked about the issue by reporters.

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

Tags Barack Obama Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Susan Rice

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