Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, left, listens as OMB Acting Director Russell Vought testifies before the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
The hot takes from former Obama officials during the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak have predictably been laced with the “we could have managed this so much better than Trump if only we’d had a chance” arrogance that we’ve come to expect from Obama types (and Obama himself) since his departure from office over 3 years ago.
Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Obama, took the same approach in a tweet she sent out on Wednesday:
Someone asked me today how would @BarackObama have handled this crisis? Answer in one word – Better. Ok, two words. Much better.
— Valerie Jarrett (@ValerieJarrett) April 1, 2020
For many of us, it read like an April Fool’s joke – considering it was written yesterday. But she was actually quite serious, of course, and as of this writing she has the tweet pinned to the top of her page. It’s gotten nearly 27,000 RTs so far.
But it has gotten even more responses than RTs, and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) was one of them. The freshman Congressman took note of Jarrett’s remarks and proceeded to blast her and her fellow Obama colleagues for repeatedly taking cheap political swipes at the Trump administration in the middle of a pandemic:
Why do so many Obama administration staffers constantly try to make Americans feel awful? Highlighting policy differences is expected – but this level of vitriol? During this pandemic? Why? https://t.co/PGkiOyScrV
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) April 2, 2020
Indeed. I mean, aren’t we all supposed to be working together here?
Besides, to suggest the Obama administration would have been “much better” at this is quite a stretch, considering how they handled the swine flu pandemic in 2009-2010:
Not so fast there Missy….look at the data….. pic.twitter.com/I6tuFEYvtS
— NewMillenium HENRYS (@NewMillHENRYS) April 2, 2020
In 2009, the H1N1 outbreak hit the United States, leading to 274,304 hospitalizations, 12,469 deaths, and a depletion of N95 respirator masks.
A federally backed task force and a safety equipment organization both recommended to the Obama administration that the stockpile be replenished with the 100 million masks used after the H1N1 outbreak.
Charles Johnson, president of the International Safety Equipment Association, said that advice was never heeded.
“Our association is unaware of any major effort to restore the stockpile to cover that drawdown,” he said.
Bloomberg News reported similar findings last week, noting, “After the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009, which triggered a nationwide shortage of masks and caused a 2- to 3-year backlog [of] orders for the N95 variety, the stockpile distributed about three-quarters of its inventory and didn’t build back the supply.”
When it comes to offering up hot takes on how the Obama administration could be better handling the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak than Trump, I’ve got the same two words for Jarrett that I did for Obama Bro Dan Peiffer: Sit down.