I think we've known even as ordinary citizens that a pandemic was possible. I think the slip up is in the response, not in the warnings. There would've been no point in warning people in terrifying terms about it 30 years ago when I first heard of the possibility. And if the SARS scare wasn't enough to put common sense into people and governments then nothing would be enough. Our mortality gives rise to a sense of immortality because we can't face the reality. Those who've faced the reality, are often seriously messed up. Just look at veterans who've seen a lot of action. Nothing panics us more than our own mortality. But it blows the fuses, we can't handle it and we do nothing and whistle past the graveyard. Emotionally it's a mercy to be able to pretend like that. But the reality is that it's dangerous. The measure of the responsibility of a world leader is whether they have properly prepared and whether they can reasonably coordinate in a time of crisis.
I think it's pretty clear who slipped up, but he's not the only one who ever slipped up this way. And it's human nature to slip up like this. I had hoped he'd be voted out of office before something like this would happen. I think, so did he.