McConnell says Obama administration 'did leave behind' pandemic plan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCongress pulls punches on Russian bounties firestorm Congress under pressure to provide billions for school openings Hillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday walked back comments made earlier this week that the Obama administration didn't leave behind a "game plan" for a pandemic.

"I was wrong," McConnell said when asked about his comments during a Fox News interview.

"They did leave behind a plan. I clearly made a mistake in that regard,” he said.

“As to whether or not the plan was followed and who is the critic and all the rest, I don’t have any observation about that because I don’t know enough about the details of that ... to comment on it in any detail,” he added.

McConnell's comments come after he appeared to blame the Obama administration for not leaving guidelines behind for the Trump White House during the transition in 2017. President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE and his allies have made similar remarks.

"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 during a Trump campaign event with Lara TrumpLara Lea TrumpHillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down GOP lawmakers join social media app billed as alternative to Big Tech Trump campaign launches Asian Pacific Americans coalition MORE.

His comments sparked backlash from former Obama administration officials.

Ronald Klain, who was the Ebola coordinator for the Obama administration, tweeted that "we literally left them a 69-page Pandemic Playbook.... that they ignored."

"And an office called the Pandemic Preparedness Office... that they abolished. And a global monitoring system called PREDICT .. that they cut by 75%" he added.

Jeremy Konyndyk, who previously served as the director of USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, told CNN that the Trump administration was "extensively briefed" on the plan during the transition.

The White House has garnered criticism in the midst of the coronavirus for a 2018 decision to disband the National Security Council's global health unit, a decision former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump flails as audience dwindles and ratings plummet Many Democrats want John Bolton's testimony, but Pelosi stays mum Trump envoy says US ready to talk to North Korea but rebukes Pyongyang counterpart MORE characterized as a "streamlining."