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McConnell says Obama administration 'did leave behind' pandemic plan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial McConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February For Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief 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 TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism 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 TrumpSeven Senate races to watch in 2022 Lara Trump leading Republicans in 2022 North Carolina Senate poll Rep. Mark Walker announces Senate bid in North Carolina 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 BoltonPence, other GOP officials expected to skip Trump send-off NSA places former GOP political operative in top lawyer position after Pentagon chief's reported order After insurrection: The national security implications MORE characterized as a "streamlining."