CORONAVIRUS

Obama Shares Joe Biden's Year-Old Pandemic Prophecy

Exactly one year ago, the former vice president tweeted concerns that the U.S. was not prepared to handle a global pandemic.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tweeted exactly one year ago that the United States was not prepared for a pandemic.

Former President Barack Obama and dozens of others shared the tweet from Oct. 25, 2019, on Sunday, its one-year anniversary. The tweet highlighted the former vice president’s foresight months before the coronavirus pandemic first brought the world to a standstill, eventually killing more than 225,000 people in the U.S.

“We are not prepared for a pandemic,” Biden tweeted. “Trump has rolled back progress President Obama and I made to strengthen global health security. We need leadership that builds public trust, focuses on real threats, and mobilizes the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores.”

The tweet included a link to a Washington Post story about the Global Health Security index — a report by the Nuclear Threat Initiative and Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security — which found that 195 countries, including the U.S., were not fully prepared to respond should an outbreak occur.

The prescient tweet has recirculated a number of times throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 42.8 million people worldwide and killed more than 1.1 million so far.

President Donald Trump has often blamed his predecessors for his own administration’s lack of preparedness to deal with the pandemic.

He has repeatedly criticized Obama for not leaving him a fully stocked national stockpile of medical supplies. In fact, Congress did not approve the Obama administration’s full budget request to restore the stockpile depleted during the 2009-10 H1N1 swine flu pandemic. Trump had three years in office to replenish it himself.

Trump has leaned into misinformation, anti-science rhetoric and pretending the virus will magically go away on its own.

Biden has campaigned on a message that he will lead America out of the health crisis with competence and empathy. 

At a drive-in campaign rally for Biden on Sunday, Obama said his administration “literally left [Trump] with a pandemic playbook” that his administration ignored.

“Joe’s not going to screw up testing,” Obama said of his former vice president. “He’s not going to call scientists idiots. He’s not going to hold a superspreader event at the White House.”

Biden has laid out how he plans to attack the pandemic should he take office. His proposals include mandating masks, establishing a national testing and contact tracing plan, invoking the Defense Production Act to drive domestic manufacturing of medical supplies and ensuring equitable delivery of therapies and a vaccine when they’re ready and safe for public use. 

In the wake of the nation’s highest single-day spike in cases on Friday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday, “We’re not going to control the pandemic.”

Trump has insisted without evidence that the U.S. is “rounding the corner” in its fight against the virus and that everything is under control.


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