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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Contrary to Donald Trump’s claims, the outgoing Obama administration left the National Strategic Stockpile fully stocked and ready to supply the nation in the face of the public health crisis like a pandemic.
“When the Obama administration left office, we left the National Strategic Stockpile fully stocked, adequately prepared, as one would expect it to be,” said Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s White House national security adviser. “That has been validated by independent journalists who had the opportunity to visit the stockpile in late 2016. But more than the stockpile, we left this incoming administration with all the tools that we had created for ourselves and that they needed to confront such a pandemic.”
Founded in 2003, the National Strategic Stockpile contains around $7 billion to $8 billion worth of emergency supplies–including vaccines, antibiotics and other critical medical equipment–stored in secret warehouses located strategically around the country.
The stockpile, and the Trump administration’s management of it, has become an ongoing flashpoint during the COVID-19 pandemic, as state governors and others around the nation have been trying to access critical gear like ventilators from the stockpile.
Trump repeatedly has blamed his predecessor, falsely, for leaving the nation with an “empty shelf” at the stockpile.
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