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