FLASHBACK: George W. Bush Warned America Was Unprepared For A Pandemic


The writings were on the wall for a potentially catastrophic pandemic going all the way back to the early aughts. In fact, the possibility was so real that former President George W. Bush told his aides to formulate a detailed plan on how the country should respond to such a crisis.

According to ABC News, President Bush became “obsessed” with the possibility of a pandemic after reading historian John M. Barry’s book “The Great Influenza,” which chronicled the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic that killed 17 to 50 million people globally.

From the report: Thus was born the nation’s most comprehensive pandemic plan – a playbook that included diagrams for a global early warning system, funding to develop new, rapid vaccine technology, and a robust national stockpile of critical supplies, such as face masks and ventilators, Townsend said.

The effort was intense over the ensuing three years, including exercises where cabinet officials gamed out their responses, but it was not sustained. Large swaths of the ambitious plan were either not fully realized or entirely shelved as other priorities and crises took hold.

Fran Townsend, former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said that many of the plans laid out by the Bush administration were implemented by the Trump administration once the pandemic hit. – READ MORE

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