In the last day or so, Moscow Mitch has been trying to help Trump shift the blame for the coronavirus to the Obama administration by claiming that they didn’t leave them any kind of pandemic game plan. As we all know (those of us outside the Fox/OANN bubble), Obama not only left them a game plan, he also left a pandemic response team in the National Security Council which Trump partly dismantled in 2018. And during the transition, Obama officials also went through several crisis exercises with the incoming administration, including one on a flu-like pandemic.
There’s an interesting tidbit to that last point — the crisis response exercises. One of the Trump administration participants was the incoming Transportation Secretary:
Politico reported this March that the meeting, attended by current Trump Cabinet officials including Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, addressed how to deal with a hypothetical flu crisis, among other scenarios. www.cnn.com/…
Politico’s point was that most of the cabinet-level and other officials who were part of the exercise are no longer in the government, thanks to Trump’s unwillingness to tolerate anyone more competent than him. (And CNN or Politico got one fact wrong — Perry was out by the end of 2019.) But what caught my eye was the mention of Elaine Chao, who is still secretary, and who just happens to be Moscow Mitch’s wife. The same Moscow Mitch who now claims the Obama administration left the Trump administration unprepared for a pandemic.
We know Chao was there:
Aside from the H9N2 pandemic exercise, the participants discussed the case study of how the Obama administration handled Hurricane Sandy in 2012. One section covered a potential cyber incident. Another went through how to respond to a domestic terrorism incident, in this case one carried out by a group of U.S. citizens who placed bombs in nearby spots during a major sporting event in a U.S. city. The terror squad not only detonates the bombs, it also engages in a mass shooting and takes a dozen hostages.
Using the materials, Monaco led the discussion. Her incoming counterpart, Tom Bossert, acted as a “semi co-chair,” attendees said. Ross, the then 79-year-old incoming Commerce secretary, was spotted with his eyes closed on more than one occasion. Elaine Chao, tapped to run the Department of Transportation, paid close attention. www.politico.com/… [emphasis added]
What do you suppose she’ll say when asked about this — as she should be. And what do the McConnells talk about when they’re at home?