Seema Verma Medicare And Medicaid Administrator: The Technician
Verma is the person actually implementing many of the Trump administrations biggest changes to health policy. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is responsible for regulating and overseeing both the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and it is through those levers of power that the administration has brought about an unprecedented expansion of telehealth services and directed hospitals across America to postpone elective surgeries to preserve capacity for the expected onslaught of severe Covid-19 cases.
Mostly False: President Donald Trump Cut Funding To The Cdc Fired The Pandemic Response Team Refused Who Tests And Wasted Two Weeks Calling This Outbreak A Democrat Hoax
Explanation: Trump did attempt to cut the CDCs funding, but Congress prevented it from happening. While officials in charge of the U.S. response to pandemics did leave in 2018, its unclear if they were fired. The U.S. was not on a list of countries receiving COVID-19 tests from the WHO. But the U.S. does not usually rely on the agency for diagnostic tests, and the testing delay was due mainly to an error with the CDCs protocol. While Trump has called the Democratic response to the coronavirus a hoax, he has not used the term to describe the virus itself.
Some Personnel Remained In The Trump Administration
Though the unit was disbanded, not all members of the team left. Some moved to other units in the NSC, like those focused on weapons of mass destruction and international organizations, per The Washington Post.
At the time of the disbanding, National Security Council spokesman Robert Palladino told the Post the Trump administration “remains committed to global health, global health security and biodefense, and will continue to address these issues with the same resolve under the new structure.
After the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic in mid-March, the decision to disband the global health unit received fresh scrutiny. Bolton defended the restructuring on Twitter.
“Claims that streamlining NSC structures impaired our nation’s bio defense are false,” he wrote on March 13. “Global health remained a top NSC priority, and its expert team was critical to effectively handling the 2018-19 Africa Ebola crisis.”
Bolton attributed the attack to partisan politics.
“The angry Left just can’t stop attacking, even in a crisis,” he wrote.
Even critics of the choice to disband the unit like Beth Cameron, its head under Obama noted that not all pandemic preparedness personnel left the administration.
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Criticized For Pandemic Response Trump Tries Shifting Blame To The Who
The president said he would halt funding for the organization because it caused so much death in the way it pushed Chinese misinformation, though he himself effusively praised Chinas handling of the virus.
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WASHINGTON For weeks, President Trump has faced relentless criticism for having overseen a slow and ineffective response to the coronavirus pandemic, failing to quickly embrace public health measures that could have prevented the disease from spreading.
Recent polls show that more Americans disapprove of Mr. Trumps handling of the virus than approve.
So on Tuesday, the president tried to shift the blame elsewhere, ordering his administration to halt funding for the World Health Organization and claiming the organization made a series of devastating mistakes as it sought to battle the virus. He said his administration would conduct a review into whether the W.H.O. was responsible for severely mismanaging and covering up the spread.
So much death has been caused by their mistakes, the president told reporters during a White House briefing.
Asked directly in mid-March whether he was to blame for the lack of testing capacity in the country, Mr. Trump said, I dont take responsibility at all.
Brutal as they were, Chinas tactics ultimately worked.
Nancy Messonnier Director Of The Cdcs Center For Immunization And Respiratory Diseases : The Alarm Bell
Messonnier reportedly angered Trump officials in February by warning Americans that, due to the coronavirus, disruption to everyday life might be severe. At the time, Trump contradicted her prediction that the virus would spread through U.S. communities, telling reporters: I dont think its inevitable.
In February and earlier in March, Messonnier appeared frequently with Azar, Fauci, and Redfield, but has largely been excluded from the administrations more recent, public-facing Covid-19 efforts.
Another point against Messonnier, in the eyes of hardcore Trump allies: Shes also the sister of Rod Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general who appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged collusion between Russian government assets and Trumps 2016 presidential campaign. In the eyes of conspiracy theorists view, Messonniers family ties aligned her with the deep state aiming to destabilize Trumps presidency. In the eyes of science, Messonnier was exactly right.
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Covid Treatments Prematurely Approved
Convalescent plasma, antibody-laden blood plasma from someone who survived COVID-19, was a promising treatment early in the pandemic. In August, the Trump administration leaned heavily on Food and Drug Administration commissioner Stephen Hahn to issue an Emergency Use Authorization for the treatment despite a lack of solid evidence that it helps people, as reported by The New York Times and The Washington Post. The FDA issued the EUA, making plasma available to a wide swath of the US population. But evidence from a clinical trial in India, posted in September, suggests that the treatment has no effect on patient outcomes. Earlier in the pandemic, the agency had to revoke its authorization of hydroxychloroquine, which Trump had touted as a game changer for COVID-19, because it, too, was subsequently shown to be ineffectual at treating the disease.
Azar On Coronavirus: ‘immediate Risk To The American Public Remains Low’
However, one former Trump senior official said a czar and not a Cabinet secretary was needed to run the administration’s response. “It’s better to have one person who has the backing of the White House to coordinate,” the official said.
Veterans of the Ebola virus outbreak of six years ago also fear Azar is speaking too soon.
In 2014, as the U.S. government scrambled to respond to the Ebola outbreak, President Barack Obama appointed lawyer Ron Klain to lead the effort from the White House, supported by staff from the National Security Council.
Participants recall it as the most intense, most difficult thing the Obama White House ever took on. They said the NSC was the only power center that could harness and coordinate the many federal government agencies implicated, foreign and domestic.
“The Ebola response in the Obama National Security Council was the most frenetic, the most tireless operation that I was a part of, and I was there for the counter-ISIS campaign and the Iran nuclear deal,” Ned Price, a former CIA officer and an Obama White House staffer, said.
“A pandemic is inevitable the remaining question is how severe will it be.”
“The NSC is the only place at the fulcrum of foreign policy where you can also pull the levers of domestic policy. … What we found was that there was a degree of running in circles until the White House National Security Council staff began directing the effort.”
Major challenges loom, public health experts say.
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Canceling Scientific Research Grant Citing Racist Conspiracy Theory
The National Institutes of Health canceled a longstanding grant to a New York health research organization studying coronaviruses in partnership with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The decision came after President Trump said, We will end that grant very quickly in a press conference.
President Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that the novel coronavirus was created or released by the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other senior administration officials have repeated the presidents claim, also without evidence and despite contrary statements by the director of national intelligence, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the World Health Organization.
President Trumps attempts to blame China for the Covid-19 pandemic, which include referring to the disease as kung flu and blocking a Group of Seven statement that did not refer to the virus as the Wuhan virus, have stoked racial animus against Asian Americans. Monitors have recorded a surge of racist attacks and hate crimes targeting Asian Americans.
Seventy-seven U.S. Nobel laureates and a wide range of professional scientific societies have condemned the Trump administrations decision to cancel the coronavirus research grant and called for a review.
Fmr Head Of Us Foreign Disaster Assistance On The Coronavirus: The Risk Is Real
“That has not happened until the last few days, we have lost a lot of time,” he told NBC News. “Putting some passive guidance on the website is very different from saying you need to begin conserving and rationing personal protective equipment or you need to triage health care.”
After being briefed on Capitol Hill, some lawmakers have expressed concern.
Sen. Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, questioned why there were eight officials in the briefing he received.
“And I’d note that this is probably something that justifies having one person in government who can work across the various departments and agencies to make sure we have a unified response to protect our citizens,” he told reporters.
In response to a Trump administration request this week for $2.5 billion in emergency funding, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted, “Americans need a coordinated, fully funded, whole-of-government response to keep them and their loved ones safe. The President’s request for coronavirus response funding is long overdue and completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency.”
The U.S. must immediately stop all flights from EBOLA infected countries or the plague will start and spread inside our “borders.” Act fast!
Donald J. Trump
Trump has said the media is hyping the severity of the coronavirus. In 2014, during the Ebola outbreak, he took a much different view, criticizing Obama.
While much more lethal than coronavirus, Ebola does not spread nearly as fast or easily.
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Changing Data Reporting Procedures For Unclear Reasons And Without Transparency
The Trump administration has sought to sideline the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , which Trump has repeatedly clashed with during the pandemic, from its usual role in compiling national data on infectious diseases. This effort began in , when the government awarded a $10.2 million contract to TeleTracking Technologies to set up a coronavirus database housed at the Department of Health and Human Services .
The Trump administration first tried to use financial pressure to coerce hospitals to use the new system refusing to provide emergency medical funding to hospitals that didnt send Covid-19 admissions and intensive care data to the TeleTracking database. The threat to withhold funding came at a time when hospitals faced both increased admissions and due to the pandemic.
When Senate Democrats demanded information on the TeleTracking contract and the policy change, TeleTracking refused to discuss the deal owing to a nondisclosure agreement with the Trump administration a serious departure from normal practices of transparency surrounding federal contracts. Michael Caputo, a top political staffer at the Department of Health and Human Services , also sought to punish CDC communications workers who allowed a CDC epidemiologist to speak with the press about the decision to have a private contractor assume responsibility for data collection that the CDC has long held.
Us Agencies Start Preparing For A Pandemic But Their Warnings Are Ignored
From January to August 2019, the HHS conducted a training simulation about a hypothetical pandemic, caused by a disease that bore striking parallels to the novel coronavirus, The New York Times reported.
In the simulation, federal agencies fought over who was in charge, state officials and hospitals couldn’t figure out what and how much medical equipment was available, and there was no centralized coordination on state lockdowns and school closings.
The team conducting the simulation put together a draft report laying out the roadblocks they discovered in the exercises, but their warnings went unheeded, according to The Times.
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The Cdc Is Getting Its Budget Slashed
Trumps budget request for 2021 cuts the budges for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC by nearly 16%. The CDC is responsible for disease prevention and control in the United States.
But Trump isnt worried about cutting funds to the entity that stops disease prevention because it will all work out well.
In addition to the cuts being made to the CDC, Trump is also proposing a cut to the global health fund, lowering it from $571 million to $532 million.
Short-sighted decisions such as these have many people worried the current administration is crippling the countrys ability to respond to coronavirus. Former Vice President Joe Biden pointed out in a USA Today piece that diseases do not stop at borders. They cannot be thwarted by building a wall.
Yet, a wall is exactly where Trump is throwing the money. His 2021 budget also calls for $2 billion to be allocated for construction on his border wall.
For now, the majority of the confirmed cases are in China, but the director-general of the World Health Organization warns that there is still a very grave threat to the entire world.
Emergency Funds Are Drying Up
Along with the missing response team, there is also the lack of a budget to contend with.
The Department of Health and Human Services has already notified Congress that it may need to transfer up to $136 million in funds to help combat the fast-moving epidemic.
This is partially because the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has already gone through the $105 million that was set aside for emergency public-health responses for infectious disease outbreaks.
Hawaii Lt. Gov Josh Green voiced concerns about the White Houses gameplan to tackle the Coronavirus issue.
The way this was rolled out is concerning. This is not the kind of thing you want to do on the fly because it creates chaos.
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Attempting To Politicize And Bypass The Food And Drug Administrations Vaccine Guidelines
The Trump administration has sought to control vaccine guidance issued by the Food and Drug Administration a customarily apolitical scientific regulator tasked with certifying the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, medications, and other medical treatments and technologies.
As catalogued above, President Trump pressured the FDA to grant emergency authorization for blood plasma treatment the day before the Republican National Convention started, despite government scientists concern about a lack of clinical trial evidence of the treatments effectiveness.
Additionally, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar announced a new policy barring the FDA and other agencies from issuing any new rules regarding medical treatments or other products, instead reserving that power for himself. The change undermines the FDAs ability to make science-based decisions and may further politicize future vaccine guidance. The administration also blocked Dr. Hahn from testifying before the House of Representatives .
The Trump administrations efforts to politicize and undermine vaccine safety measures are especially damaging given the administrations 2019 decision to close down the National Vaccine Program Office a government body tasked with monitoring the safety of vaccines.