Warren: In response to all that was learned by the Bush and Obama administrations from the H1N1, SARS and Ebola outbreaks, President Obama's White House National Security Council left the Trump administration a detailed dossier on how to respond to an impending pandemic. The document was entitled — conspicuously enough — the “Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents.” The playbook contained step-by-step advice on questions to ask, when to ask them, decisions to make, when to make them, an assignment of critical tasks to various federal agencies, and how the agencies should coordinate the implementation of those tasks in the face of an impending pandemic. It even included sample documents that officials could use for inter-agency meetings. And lest there be any doubt, the dossier explicitly identified novel coronaviruses as one of the pathogens that could require a major coordinated response. Additionally, outgoing senior Obama officials led an in-person pandemic response exercise for senior incoming Trump officials in January 2017 -- as required by a new law on improving presidential transitions that Obama signed in 2016. It is now obvious that the Trump Administration followed none of the guidance provided by the outgoing administration. Even though Trump had been warned of the seriousness of COVID as early as January, he publicly downplayed the threat (and even the existence) of the virus well into March, pretending it would just go away while playing golf and holding campaign rallies. When it was obvious the virus wasn’t a “hoax” but instead was rapidly overtaking us, and wishing it away still wasn’t a viable option, he and his HHS administrators still wasted precious time gearing up to act, and completely fumbled the ball getting critical PPE and testing supplies distributed to areas of the country with the greatest need — pitting desperate states against the federal government and, indeed, even against each other. Now that virus is continuing to spread at alarming rates — indeed, it is literally exploding in populous states such as Florida, Texas and California — Trump still pretends it’s no big deal. Still unwilling to make the hard decisions required during a national crisis, he continues to inexcusably downplay its prevalence and its seriousness, making reckless comments like “99% of the cases are not serious,” and “this will be over very shortly.” That is because acknowledging the current alarming rates of infection would be admitting his abject failure to responsibly deal with the crisis for the last 6 months. Trump’s continuing denials of the dangerousness of COVID 19 are simply fueling the explosion of cases around the country. His public denials have sent a message to a large uneducated segment of the American public that it is safe to participate in reckless social and other public gatherings. No masks needed, of course — those are for Democrats and weaklings. But the ultimate outrage is that, at the very moment when: (1) the virus is exploding; (2) millions of Americans have or will be infected; and (3) hospitals around the country are literally on the brink of being overwhelmed, Trump is asking the United States Supreme Court to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. If he is successful, millions of Americans will lose their health care insurance at the precise moment they will need it most. What will millions of Americans who get infected over the next few months do if they need medical care? By all accounts, Trump could not care less. The sad truth is that Trump’s entire response to the pandemic has been driven not by science, empathy, or concern for the health of our nation, but instead by rank political calculation. And as far as political calculations go, it has been a disastrously misguided one at that— his complete mismanagement has rendered our country’s response to the pandemic the worst in world. I mean that literally — we have the highest rates of infection anywhere on the planet. And all because of Trump’s self-interested pursuit of an economic political agenda which, in the most tragic of ironies, has simply prolonged and, indeed, exacerbated the economic downturn with exploding rates of joblessness that grow exponentially every week, with no end in sight. By placing his own political ambitions over the health and safety of the American public, Trump has failed the most basic test of leadership in the face of the most serious public health crisis this generation has ever faced. His failures have come at a cost of over 130,000 American lives, and counting. Enough is enough.