Trump team failed to follow NSC’s pandemic playbook

The 69-page document, finished in 2016, provided a step by step list of priorities – which were then ignored by the administration


The 69-page document, finished in 2016, provided a step by step list of priorities – which were then ignored by the administration

The 69-page document, finished in 2016, provided a step by step list of priorities – which were then ignored by the administration.

WhatsApp The Trump administration, state officials and even individual hospital workers are now racing against each other to get the necessary masks, gloves and other safety equipment to fight coronavirus — a scramble that hospitals and doctors say has come too late and left them at risk. But according to a previously unrevealed White House playbook, the government should’ve begun a federal-wide effort to procure that personal protective equipment at least two months ago. “Is there sufficient personal protective equipment for healthcare workers who are providing medical care?” the playbook instructs its readers, as one early decision that officials should address when facing a potential pandemic. “If YES: What are the triggers to signal exhaustion of supplies? Are additional supplies available? If NO: Should the Strategic National Stockpile release PPE to states?” Advertisement The strategies are among hundreds of tactics and key policy decisions laid out in a 69-page National Security Council playbook on fighting pandemics, which POLITICO is detailing for the first time. Other recommendations include that the government move swiftly to fully detect potential outbreaks, secure supplemental funding and consider invoking the Defense Production Act — all steps in which the Trump administration lagged behind the timeline laid out in the playbook. “Each section of this playbook includes specific questions that should be asked and decisions that should be made at multiple levels” within the national security apparatus, the playbook urges, repeatedly advising officials to question the numbers on viral spread, ensure appropriate diagnostic capacity and check on the U.S. stockpile of emergency resources. The playbook also stresses the significant responsibility facing the White House to contain risks of potential pandemics, a stark contrast with the Trump administration’s delays in deploying an all-of-government response and President Donald Trump's recent signals that he might roll back public health recommendations. “The U.S. government will use all powers at its disposal to prevent, slow or mitigate the spread of an emerging infectious disease threat,” according to the playbook’s built-in “assumptions” about fighting future threats. “The American public will look to the U.S. government for action when multi-state or other significant events occur.” The guide further calls for a “unified message” on the federal response, in order to best manage the American public's questions and concerns. “Early coordination of risk communications through a single federal spokesperson is critical,” the playbook urges. However, the U.S. response to coronavirus has featured a rotating cast of spokespeople and conflicting messages; Trump already is discussing loosening government recommendations on coronavirus in order to “open” the economy by Easter, despite the objections of public health advisers. The NSC devised the guide — officially called the Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents, but known colloquially as “the pandemic playbook” — across 2016. The project was driven by career civil servants as well as political appointees, aware that global leaders had initially fumbled their response to the 2014-2015 spread of Ebola and wanting to be sure that the next response to an epidemic was better handled. The Trump administration was briefed on the playbook’s existence in 2017, said four former officials, but two cautioned that it never went through a full, National Security Council-led interagency process to be approved as Trump administration strategy. Tom Bossert, who was then Trump’s homeland security adviser, expressed enthusiasm about its potential as part of the administration’s broader strategy to fight pandemics, two former officials said. Bossert declined to comment on any particular document, but told POLITICO that “I engaged actively with my outgoing counterpart and took seriously their transition materials and recommendations on pandemic preparedness.” The playbook was designed “so there wasn’t piecemeal thinking when trying to fight the next public health battle,” said one former official who contributed to the playbook, warning that “the fog of war” can lead to gaps in strategies. “These are recommended discussions to be having on all levels, to ensure that there’s a structure to make decisions in real-time,” said a second former official. An NSC official confirmed the existence of the playbook but dismissed its value. “We are aware of the document, although it’s quite dated and has been superseded by strategic and operational biodefense policies published since,” the official said. “The plan we are executing now is a better fit, more detailed, and applies the relevant lessons learned from the playbook and the most recent Ebola epidemic in the [Democratic Republic of the Congo] to COVID-19.” A health department spokesperson also said that the NSC playbook was not part of the current coronavirus strategy. “The HHS COVID-19 response was informed by more recent plans such as the foundation of the National Biodefense Strategy (2018), Biological Incident Annex (2017),and panCAP (2018) among other key plans provided by the CDC, White House Task Force, FEMA, and other key federal departments and agencies,” the spokesperson said. Trump has claimed that his administration could not have foreseen the coronavirus pandemic, which has spread to all 50 states and more than 180 nations, sickening more than 460,000 people around the world. “Nobody ever expected a thing like this,” Trump said in a Fox News interview on Tuesday. But Trump’s aides were told to expect a potential pandemic, ranging from a Read more: POLITICO

joelockhart That was immoral to ignore the pandemic playbook. The “very stable genius” had a hunch “it was one person from China.” He is culpable and responsible. We will hold him accountable in November (I hope). joelockhart If you think that Trump has done a good job, then go to NYC and see how many are dying and why. Or Michigan. Or Florida. Or California.

joelockhart Everyone who supported the President with lies and misleading the American people should be held accountable including the VP, Kellyann Conway, Secretary of State and all advisors should go to prison. It's not enough that they will all have to live with the killing of Americans. TrumpDeaths

Trump lies every time he tweets or opens his mouth. He has gutted the federal government. He is a sociopathic narcissist authoritarian wannabe who has zero ability to care for anyone other than himself and zero ability to lead in a crisis. COVID19 CoronaVirus TrumpMadness Let’s be very clear. The federal government of the Trump regime isn’t doing anything to help. Federal governments all over the world have issued domestic edicts and rules. Here, nothing. coronavirus COVID19 Covid_19 COVID2019 CoronaVirusUpdate CoronavirusOutbreak

Playbooks are read. That was problem 1. Drumpf ignored what Obama left for him because of all the big words and the fact that a BETTER man had prepared it. Obama administration left details for every dept.DT so insecure ignored & then gutted the government. He has so much blood on his hands ,chilling incompetent failure.

Yes, and wisely so. Of course he would it wasn’t written by him🤡🤡🤡

Pelosi and Trump haven't spoken in five monthsHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump have not spoken in more than five months, according to a Pelosi aide, something that's even more remarkable given the crisis facing the country and the massive rescue packages moving through Congress. I wonder if it has anything to do with any possible sexual advances the president may have made on Palossi... I know before becoming president, Mr. Trump had a lengthy criminal record. What did ever happen to all those charges against him? Hmmmm..... Food for thought! He will never speak to her again. She impeached him, the ultimate humiliation.

His hate for Obama is surely affecting us now! racism Not one question asked about this in Trump's rally presser liefest. Duh How many people died because Trump and his admin are incompetent boobs? Fake news,only the fools trust Politico. nahaltoosi And Obama’s ‘cabinet’ threw it on a shelf and did NOT restock. ThanksObama

Just now, during the daily Coronavirus press conference at the White House, Trump obviously considered the economic impact more serious than the disease. In other words, he thinks money is more important than life. Is that the kind of President we should put our trust in? NO!!!! Suuuuurrrre nahaltoosi Does anyone wonder why Obama never restocked the nation's surgical mask supplies after the H1N1 epidemic, but did a playbook for fighting pandemics? I have to wonder whether such a playbook wasn't just . . . oh, garbage, maybe?

tpanotchRET Hey do you realize that stocks are up 4,000 points since Election Day 2016?

Trump Predicts ‘Suicides By The Thousands’ If Americans Can’t Get Back To WorkPresident Trump said today during a Fox News Town Hall that he believes shutting down the economy would kill more people than the coronavirus—saying, “This cure is worse than the problem' Well, it is true. Chinaconspiracy ChinaLiedAndPeopleDied ChinaLiesPeopleDie coronavirus Spain Italy USA ..China is fooling the world... I agree with this guy for once

Can't imagine where his head was. nahaltoosi They had a heads up. They had a plan. And did nothing. Trump likes low numbers. He still likes low numbers. Covid deaths, without testing, are called something else and not included in totals. And that’s how he leaders. American die as a result you don't say...

That’s should be criminal!!! Stoopid is as stoopid does 🤔 who cares? Of course, it was hidden where these idiots would never look; in a book Olivia_Gazis Continuity plans (Pandemic) are living documents, not static as new risks are incorporated & adjustment made. 'We are aware of the document' but called it 'quite dated' & said 'the plan we are executing now is a better fit, more detailed, & applies the relevant lessons learned.'

Kirstie Alley Praises Trump Over Coronavirus Response and Twitter ExplodesOn Monday night, the former Jenny Craig spokesperson took to Twitter to write, 'Dear Mr. President, realDonaldTrump I wanted to thank you for ur recent decorum, sincerity, & care towards us.' TooFab She’s too dumb to give an evaluation. TooFab Stay off the pills! TooFab Nuts

Fake news If it were not attached to his face, he could not follow his nose. And blaming Obama and getting people back to work isn’t going to change that fact! IdiotInChief He owns this. Obama did such a great job with the swine flu. Only 13,000 Americans died. He did such a great job, Businesses stayed open and no one cared.

Trump doesn't listen and refuses to learn. He has put our country in more jeopardy than if we were attacked at Pearl Harbor all over again. Would someone please take this country away from Trump before he loses it or breaks it, as he treats it like a toy. Trump should be thrown out of office NONSENSE

Trump Considers Defying Health Experts, Ending Social Distancing Amid Coronavirus PandemicDespite warnings from public health officials, the president is reportedly eager to ease off the COVID-19 guidelines. TrumpLiesAmericansDie this is why he's the TrumptheWorstPresidentEVER He’s only wanting to ease off because he’s afraid it’s going to mess up his election (Thank goodness); hurt his businesses. He will take that over really helping the American people Because he only cares about himself

FakeNewsAlert this is garbage. I can't be expected to pay any attention to hocus-pocus science stuff! Obviously not enough pictures. Too many words They have a playbook? Is anyone surprised? Experts, science and evidence play no part in decision-making processes in this broken, incompetent administration, even when it will kill Americans

No they did not. Lying again. Yes the outdated and bureaucratic CDC! Thank God, Between 12,000 and 16,000 Americans died of Swine flu during the Obama administration

While coronavirus reigns, Trump can't jump-start the economy by himselfThe White House is pushing to return things back to normal by Easter, but there is only so much the federal government can do amid the pandemic if local leaders maintain shutdowns. No but Trump has no problem stealing taxpayers money all by himself. STFU! Headlines like this is why you will be soon offline.

Sure Damn! Why does it always have to be Trump? 🤦🏻‍♂️🤯 Media really doesn’t help at all..keeps on blaming the orange man! I have never seen any positive headline by Yahoonews about Trump!😁 Really, this is a surprise? This whole thing was an epic failure,,, of leadership, and the republican regime of mediocrity and failure to be for us instead of themselves! We should be mad as hell, and rectify it in Nov!!

Lefties losing their minds as pandemic turns out to be not as bad as predicted lol. craigcalcaterra Imagine thinking an Obama-Biden plan would help America. The EU has about the same population as the United States, where would you rather be? Should have made it a picture book instead. Words are hard for the illiterate. Coronavirus

GOP WhiteHouse POTUS realDonaldTrump VP Mike_Pence Of course the Trump Regime failed to follow NSC playbook because failing is what the Orange Menace does best. Trump has failed at everything he has ever done but has mostly failed at being a human being. craigcalcaterra 2020 ! The USA.... A Third World country with a First world PR budget.... usa trump COVID2019

Trump gets ratings bump amid coronavirus crisisThe president's poll numbers are up slightly, but he isn’t galvanizing wide swaths of the country the way previous presidents have in times of crisis. And the media have kept right up with daily sniping at every little thing they can, dividing the nation. Even with 💯 negative coverage, what does that tell you about your influence realDonaldTrump is the anti-christ. Evil. Evil to his core and we are all paying a horrible price for letting this horrible Trump family step foot in our White House! They are so dangerous and absolutely repugnant!! Crooks! Cons! Racists! Failures!

Oh wow. I'm like blindsided or something. 69 page pandemic playbook left by Obama which he did for the Ebola crisis... had a committee working on it... updating it throughout the world ...the hatred Trump has for Obama he disbanded it.. there is a lot of blood on Trumps hands... America wake up.. Can you hacks stop the sensationalist headlines. In even your own article you list more recent plans and strategies .

Because it was not in crayon and did not include pictures. It had real adults words in it. Yur communist Trump is unfit 2009 / 2010 after the H1N1 virus Outbreak Obama / Biden did not stock pile any supplies for future outbreaks . Another.....Trump*.......Failure Trump’s zombies are immune to facts and science

He needs to resign

Putting anything in writing is virtually hiding it from Donald. Obama should have tweeted it all to Trump: 428/ Be sure we have plenty of ventilators and masks. We'll need them... Not surprising. Report on Tara Reade cowards You know he wasn’t going to take anything that happened under President Obama watch.

Their playbook is to throw out any previous playbooks Tucker Carlson Roasts the Media for Originally Downplaying the Wuhan Virus After They Try to Blame Fox News Amazing. A 69 page 'pandemic playbook' was written in 2016, but the stimulus bill for said pandemic was 1,400 pages with a bunch of issues unrelated to the pandemic.

Of course they ignored it... it felt to liberal for them..hmmm how many people have died so far due to there incompetence.. dont worry its just one of hundreds of things they ignored to get us here

This story is a bunch of bull Under Obama everything was depleted! Trump inherited a broken depleted military as well as depleted emergency reserve equipment This playbook your using is so old and tired We are not buying it anymore Come on, 69 pages for trump to read? This one is Obama's fault 🤭 why am i completely, utterly unsurprised

If it was finished in 2016 during the last administration, why wasn't there a pandemic size stockpile of supplies left for the incoming administration So did China it appears. Remember, Trump graduated at the top of his class at Wharton College of Business and a genius when it comes the running a business or country.

Seriously the world is still ignoring it, especially the effect it will have on africa in the coming winter months Jlhrdhcotuit TrumpEpicPandemicFail GOPSlushFund GOPCorruptionOverCountry Well Trump does not believe in science. He's more about optics.

Why is Barr not charging the trumptard with terrorism for spreading the virus; oh yea, his dear leader is exempt because of the DOJ memo; for now. FDA blocks the therapy enacted by dr Zelenko.Some politicians on the left don't want people to have a chance for treatment. They rely on government regulation.People are dying because the health system can't cope with pandemic.

Now relax and listen to the president: It is just a flu, a democratic hoax - nothing more! ...and this all causes missing earnings for Trump’s golf ressorts: No golf trips = no filling up the rooms with Secret-service people!! That’s Trump economydanger: Golf ⛳️ Idiots And we wonder why he went bankrupt four times. He can’t follow a plan.

TrumpIsAnIdiot TrumpIsTheWORSTPresidentEVER No pictures or praise for Trump, not read. Trump is a traitor working for Putin. He has been blatant in his sabotaging any help to the people. Meanwhile democrats the media and the Republican cult standby and encourage his dangerous actions. Why won't anyone call him out, he is putting us all in danger. 25thAmendmentNow

Everyone needs to know this. This is irresponsible and demonstrates just how incompetent this administration is. abbee_watson THIS should be a future campaign ad by the Dems.

somehow you are shocked by this? Fake news, never trust this toilet paper.Politico Why does this not surprise me! Read the article. The vaunted “playbook” was superceded by newer materials. Nice try, though.🙄 Apparently someone should've included pictures. That might've helped Trump comprehend this, though I honestly doubt it.

He was too busy scheming to loot the US Treasury Oh... BS! FakeNewsMedia is For those who keep defending this incompetent corrupt narcissist psychopath liar POTUS !! VP WhiteHouse staff must knew as well!!! Due to this grossly negligence Americans are in fear, getting sick and dying!!’ realDonaldTrump have continuous to stain his hands with blood!

Wow what a surprise! Absolutely Shameful and totally unacceptable. Seriously 😳

Another thing he will get away with and put the blame on others but this time his choice for whatever reason is costing lives and will also have a domino effect. This quack-quack has a reading deficience problem. If he can't stick to talking points. He'll careen his own version. 🤣🤣🤣🤣 So why does the press let him get away with lying on Obama

Remember this. Biden mumble that out? But did Obama read it to him, and name the important characters Donald, or at least Prince Don? No, Obama didn't do that - did he? Not surprised. US intelligence briefing teams told us that Trump lacks both the attention span and an interest in details required for the job. incompetentInChief

GJabberbox Trump rejected the playbook because with 69 pages made it Impossible to roll for spanking, Pence also as it reminded him of the deadly sins, the GOP because it seamed a form of birthcontrol.

Who was The President in 2016? Can't wait to find out He and his admin n Task Force are all doing great job! Companies pitching in, ppl all over country volunteering n helping each other out, U.S. is winning Yup... I trust him more than a deep state hypothetical scenario. Great job Trump!! Maybe his administration already knew because they know Donald Trump can't read and they also know that whenever they advise him on anything Donald Trump tells them that they're full of shit. But they get paid very well to do their job. America you're screwed.

tRump and his incompetent administration. Thank God for Fauci and Birx, who are not part of the administration, they’re part of the “deep state!” 😂 So you Fools out there think Trump is doing a good job? You REALLY are Dopes. Sifill_LDF Well, it needs to be made public for the public. If they won't use it, let someone who will. Who has the book? Publish it online ASAP.

And what about the states? Elections (and massive voter suppression) have consequences...

Hate filled PROPAGANDA Wow this happen to the smartest President in world. Yes believe it. Idiot of the world. Because they are drunk on power and kleptocracy they were trying to monetize a pandemic, just too stupid to read it, or both Thank god He's an idiot and a menace, but apparently 60% of Americans don't give a damn.

Real men don't need directions. Ass 69 nice Trump is an abject failure as president.

nice Not enough colorful pictures, apparently. They know the BEST. Trump's attempts to deflect blame to China, democrats, or anyone else ain't gonna work. He lied to America for more than 2 months. We need to know why. 😂 Nice

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