Kaleigh McEnany implies Trump's pandemic response plan is better than Obama's because it's in 'robust' binders

Sirena Bergman@SirenaBergman
Saturday 16 May 2020 15:00
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Mitch McConnel falsely claimed earlier this week that Barack Obama hadn't left a "game plan" for the current administration to deal with the pandemic.

This assertion – which was echoed by Lara Trump – was swiftly debunked as people pointed out that in 2016 the National Security Council completed a 69-page booklet that detailed how to move swiftly to detect a viral outbreak, how to secure supplemental funding and what responsibilities the White House should take in such a crisis.

In an apparent attempt to save face, Trump's press secretary Kaleigh McEnany addressed this in yesterday's press briefing. In fact, she literally opened with it, because trying to make Obama look bad is clearly a pressing issue for an administration dealing with a global pandemic.

She said:

Some have erroneously suggested that the Trump administration threw out the pandemic response playbook left by the Obama-Biden administration. What the critics fail to note however, is that this thin packet of paper was replaced by two detailed, robust pandemic response reports commissioned by the Trump administration.

This bizarre monologue was accompanied by a dramatic flourish, in which she says: "So we exchanged this one," holding up some stapled together pieces of paper, "for these two pandemic response plans," while brandishing two jazzy-looking, errr, binders.

She looked so pleased with herself that it's almost making us feel sorry for her. Almost.

People were quick to point out how ludicrous this point was, which seemed to equate the value of a plan to the folder it's in. This is so so Trump-y that we kind of can't even.

McEnany was then asked a pretty basic question about whether her "robust" binders included any guidelines around increasing the production of protective equipment, to which she gave a bizarre non-response:

What it says is this: that, look, we need personal protective equipment, and what did this administration do? We gave it! The Obama playbook is online, um, one of these I believe is public, so you can look through that online.

But what we've done is remarkable, and that is... exactly what you just asked me. Does it say we need more PPE? Well, we've delivered historic numbers od PPE. One billion gloves! We'll continue to do that.

Wow. "One billion gloves" must be in a very very big font if it takes two binders to make that point.

You would think that an office run by a man with notoriously tiny hands and a giant ego would be less keen to suggest that good things always come in large packages...

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