USA Today fact-check confirms Obama did not replenish CDC national stockpile of masks

USA Today factchecked an article from Daily Wire claiming that the Obama administration neglected to replenish the CDC national stockpile of masks after dipping into it several times during his tenure.

During the presidency of Barack Obama, the national stockpile was seriously taxed as the administration addressed multiple crises over eight years. About “75 percent of N95 respirators and 25 percent of face masks contained in the CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile (∼100 million products) were deployed for use in health care settings over the course of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic response,” according to a 2017 study in the journal Health Security.

Again according to NIH, the stockpile’s resources were also used during hurricanes Alex, Irene, Isaac and Sandy. Flooding in 2010 in North Dakota also called for stockpile funds to be deployed. The 2014 outbreaks of the ebola virus and botulism, as well as the 2016 outbreak of the zika virus, continued to significantly tax the stockpile with no serious effort from the Obama administration to replenish the fund.

TO their credit, they confirmed it as true:

We rate this claim TRUE because it is supported by our research. There is no indication that the Obama administration took significant steps to replenish the supply of N95 masks in the Strategic National Stockpile after it was depleted from repeated crises. Calls for action came from experts at the time concerned for the country’s ability to respond to future serious pandemics. Such recommendations were, for whatever reason, not heeded.

Well that’s awkward. Of course, this doesn’t exonerate Trump of other claims that his response to the coronavirus outbreak wasn’t perfect, or could have been better. BUT, it proves you can’t put all the blame on the current administration and when he says Obama has to take some of the blame, he’s right. [h/t @SaintRpH]

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