“The last administration left us nothing,” Trump said last month.
But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch found that Trump’s own budget documents show the opposite ― exposing what it called “a lie of colossal Trumpian proportions.”
The newspaper’s editorial board said the Trump administration told Congress that the Obama administration left it with everything needed for a pandemic ― and sought big budget cuts from the programs as a result.
Trump’s 2020 budget asked Congress to cut the pandemic preparedness budget by $102.9 million, part of $595.5 million in requested cuts to public health preparedness and response outlay.
“Obama left office with an unblemished record of building up the nation’s pandemic preparedness,” the newspaper said. “Trump systematically sought to dismantle it.”
Trump has since blamed his predecessor for lack of personal protective equipment and testing supplies, saying “our cupboards were bare. We had very little in our stockpile.”
But the newspaper said a chart provided by the Trump administration with the budget shows that by 2016 ― Obama’s final year in office ― the nation’s public health emergency preparedness was at between 98% and 100% by every key measure.
“That’s by the Trump administration’s own assessment,” the Post-Dispatch said. “If the cupboard was bare, it’s because Trump swept it clean.”
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