Donald Trump
Donald TrumpReuters

If Leon Panetta had to grade the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus, the former Secretary of Defense under President Barack Obama says he would issue a D+.

“The history of this pandemic, when it's written, will reflect a great deal on the mistakes that were made,” he says. “The failure to pay attention to the warnings, the false hopes that were raised, the lack of preparation in terms of health supplies.”

"History will also remember the governors, mayors, health care leaders and federal agencies who stood up to the challenge and helped mitigate the crisis", he says.

But the story doesn’t have an end just yet — and that’s due to the lack of testing, tracking and treatment or vaccine for the disease, he says. He thinks these key factors will determine when the economy can restart.

On top of the health care and economic issues the U.S. faces, Panetta also says he’s questioning the country’s military preparedness.

On whether he would continue Trump’s daily briefings if he was chief of staff today he said, "I think that the briefings have not been very helpful in terms of really focusing on the information, the facts that are out there and presenting those facts to the American people. The health care officials that are part of the team obviously do a very good job in terms of presenting the facts as they know it and you have a sense of trusting what they say. On the other hand, when the president gets up there, it wanders a great deal. You know, he doesn't just stick to dealing with the pandemic. He talks about politics. He finds blame with people when he's asked questions about whether or not the administration has done a good job. He attacks people during that process and he wanders. And frankly, those briefings last too long. They go on and on and on. And I think the public, even though, you know, the public wants to hear what the situation is. I think the public feels that it can't always trust the information that it's getting. So for that reason, I would keep those briefings a lot tighter. And I would focus specifically on the health care officials to present the facts to the American people. That's what should be happening.”