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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Trump administration did not follow a National Security Council "playbook" detailing how the federal government should respond to global pandemics, Politico's Dan Diamond and Nahal Toosi report.

Why it matters: Based on recommendations from the document, the government should have started gathering personal protective equipment like masks and gloves at least two months ago in preparation for coronavirus.

  • "You often hear government officials say 'there's no playbook for dealing with this.' Except, in the case of this pandemic, there *was* a playbook -- literally, a secretive NSC document with 'PLAYBOOK' stamped on it," Politico's Tim Alberta tweeted.
  • The Trump administration, state governments and hospitals are currently scrambling to find personal protection equipment for health workers on the front lines of the pandemic and patients with severe symptoms.

The big picture: Civil servants wrote the playbook after the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak to ensure that the response to the next epidemic was handled better.

Via Politico

The Trump administration was briefed on the playbook 2017, according to Politico, but it was never fully adopted as strategy.

What they're saying: "We are aware of the document, although it's quite dated and has been superseded by strategic and operational biodefense policies published since," a NSC official told Politico.

  • "The plan we are executing now is a better fit, more detailed, and applies the relevant lessons learned from the playbook and the most recent Ebola epidemic in the [Democratic Republic of the Congo] to COVID-19.”

Read the 69-page playbook on fighting pandemics

Go deeper: Dangerous backlog: Coronavirus results can take a week or more

Go deeper

U.S. border cities again see low violent crime rates

Expand chart
Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Reported violent crime in the United States rose in 2020 for the first time in four years, but violent crime rates in 11 of the largest communities along the U.S.-Mexico border stayed below the national average, an Axios analysis found. 

Why it matters: Year after year, data showing low violent crime rates in majority-Mexican American and Mexican immigrant border communities dispels myths of the U.S.-Mexico border as a region filled with crime and chaos.

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

China declines to speed emissions cuts in new UN pledge

A view of the skyscrapers in the haze in Shanghai, China, in December 2020. Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Chinese leaders are sticking with a prior target to bring the country's carbon emissions to a peak before 2030, according to documents filed with the United Nations Thursday under the Paris climate agreement.

Why it matters: The new documents come just days ahead of the UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow. China is by far the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, and its emissions path is key to whether the temperature-limiting goals of the Paris agreement can remain within reach.