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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News on Thursday that the Obama administration did leave behind a pandemic playbook after initially criticizing them for failing to do so.

  • "I was wrong. They did leave behind a plan. So, I clearly made a mistake in that regard. As to whether or not the plan was followed and who is the critic and all the rest, I don't have any observation about that because I don't know enough about the details of it to comment on it in any detail."
  • Flashback: McConnell said on Monday that "we want to be early, ready for the next one, because clearly the Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like this."

The big picture per Axios' Rebecca Falconer: President Obama has rarely commented on Trump since leaving office, but he has begun to speak out on the president and his administration's policies. McConnell noted former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush "kept their mouths shut" on successors because they deemed it inappropriate to comment on other presidents.

Go deeper: McConnell calls Obama's criticism of Trump "classless"

Go deeper

Updated Aug 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump accuses FDA of thwarting coronavirus response, after admin limits testing oversight

President Trump at the White House on Aug 20. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday baselessly accused the Food and Drug Administration — which he likened to the "deep state, or whoever" — of making it harder for drug companies to distribute coronavirus treatments and vaccines.

Why it matters: Trump's tweet comes on the heels of a policy change by the Department of Health and Human Services to block the FDA's ability to regulate lab-developed tests, including for the coronavirus — which has public health experts worried that unreliable COVID-19 tests could go to market.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated Nov 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. to mandate vaccines for anyone who crosses borders starting in January — Shots lagged data by months — The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort.
  2. Health: The Thanksgiving bouncers — Axios-Ipsos poll: Thanksgiving roulette — Experts criticize CDC's language on vaccine boosters — America's Thanksgiving gamble.
  3. Politics: Biden administration asks appeals court to reinstate vaccine mandate — Michigan recommends face masks for all residents amid surge.
  4. Education: A COVID strategy backfires at schools — Schools across the U.S. offer vaccine drivesBenefits of in-person school outweigh risks, study finds.
  5. World: EU drug regulator recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids — Italy announces new COVID restrictions for unvaccinated people — European health agency urges expanding booster shot access.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.