The Defunding Of The Us Embed To Chinas Cdc Briefly Explained
As Redfield mentioned, the US and China have long collaborated on matters of public health. As part of that collaboration, China has allowed the US to embed a public health official in its CDC.
Until July 2019, that embed was Dr. Linda Quick, an epidemiologist. Quick led a program that trained Chinese epidemiologists in methods for discovering, tracking, researching, and containing diseases like Covid-19.
She reportedly came back to the US after being told her position would be discontinued in September 2019 in part due to the ongoing trade war between the US and China, and chose to return early, in July.
Once she came back to the US, she was not replaced by the US or any other foreign government, leading to a series of events that Bao-Ping Zhu, who held Quicks position during the Obama administration, told Reuters was heartbreaking to watch.
If someone had been there, public health officials and governments across the world could have moved much faster, Zhu said.
Essentially, governments around the world might have been able to begin responding in early December, when the first Chinese cases were reported, rather than in late December, when China informed the World Health Organization it had begun to notice cases of a novel illness.
The US CDC has been dismissive of this view, and told Reuters that Quicks absence had absolutely nothing to do with CDC not learning of cases in China earlier.
Cdc Defunded By $300 Million For A Politically
What happened: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists and officials were sidelined in a decision to remove $300 million from the agencys budget, which was diverted to the Department of Health and Human Services defeat despair ad campaign. CDC experts were subsequently frozen out of the ad campaigns development, despite the agency paying for it.
Why it matters: The CDC relies on congressionally-allocated funds to carry out research and public health initiatives, activities that are literally saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Transferring funds away from the CDC, with little-to-no consultation from CDCs scientists and officials, may have impaired the CDCs ability to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a decision that sidelined Centers for Disease Control and Prevention experts, a political appointee from the Department of Health and Human Services defunded the CDC of $300 million to carry out a defeat despair ad campaign. The HHS political appointee, Michael Caputo, HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, has engaged in numerous examples of bullying scientists and attacking scientific research at the CDC, including burying, delaying, or adding political edits to CDC studies.
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Cdc Drops Traveler Health Notices For Individual Countries
WASHINGTON The federal government is scrapping another of its responses to the pandemic.
On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped its country-by-country COVID-19 travel health notices that it began issuing early in the pandemic.
The reason: Fewer countries are testing for the virus or reporting the number of COVID-19 cases. That limits the CDCs ability to calculate travelers’ risk, according to the agency.
CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said the agency will only post a travel health notice for an individual country if a situation such as a troubling new variant of the virus changes CDC travel recommendations for that country.
The CDC still recommends that travelers remain up to date on vaccines and follow recommendations found on its international travel page.
That page divides countries into three categories practice usual precautions, enhanced precautions or avoid nonessential travel.
Restrictions such as testing and quarantine requirements greatly slowed international travel earlier in the pandemic, but many countries eventually lifted those rules for fully vaccinated and boosted people to increase tourism.
In early 2020, before vaccines were available, the United States barred people who had recently been in any of more than three dozen countries. In 2021, the U.S. instead began requiring people to test negative for COVID-19 shortly before boarding planes to the U.S. That rule too was eventually dropped.
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The End Of Health Diplomacy
The U.S. Congress has generally blocked Trumps repeated attempts to cut the CDC including an effort to slash its international work from 49 countries to 10. However, the administration has nonetheless pulled back: CDC staff numbers in China have decreased from 47 to 14 over the past two years, Reuters reported.
Normally, CDC would be at the forefront of the response in this type of situation, both nationally and globally, said Tom Frieden, Barack Obamas CDC director, widely credited with helping turn around the Ebola epidemic after a flat-footed response by countries around the world, as well as the WHO.
Wed be in a much better place if CDC was free to do what it does best: figure out how the infection is spreading and how best to reduce the spread, through technical guidance, partnerships, and tools, he said.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, Trump has stymied efforts to cooperate globally. At a meeting in late March, for example, G7 foreign affairs chiefs meeting over videoconference agreed on the need for coordination. But they failed to deliver an actual accord after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a hard line on calling the germ the Wuhan virus.
Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Instead, the U.N. is playing that role, he added, and getting silence from the United States.
Exclusive: Us Slashed Cdc Staff Inside China Prior To Coronavirus Outbreak
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WASHINGTON – The Trump administration cut staff by more than two-thirds at a key U.S. public health agency operating inside China, as part of a larger rollback of U.S.-funded health and science experts on the ground there leading up to the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters has learned.
Most of the reductions were made at the Beijing office of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and occurred over the past two years, according to public CDC documents viewed by Reuters and interviews with four people familiar with the drawdown.
The Atlanta-based CDC, Americas preeminent disease fighting agency, provides public health assistance to nations around the world and works with them to help stop outbreaks of contagious diseases from spreading globally. It has worked in China for 30 years.
The CDCs China headcount has shrunk to around 14 staffers, down from approximately 47 people since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the documents show. The four people, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the losses included epidemiologists and other health professionals.
The material reviewed by Reuters shows a breakdown of how many American and local Chinese employees were assigned there. The documents are the CDCs own descriptions of its headcount, which it posts online. Reuters was able to search past copies of the material to confirm the decline described by the four people.
Chinas embassy in Washington, D.C. declined to comment.
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Trump Budget Chief Holds Firm On Cdc Cuts Amid Virus Outbreak
Russ Vought, the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, on Tuesday doubled down on proposed cuts to health services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , despite the coronavirus outbreak.
Vought came under intense questioning from Rep. Matt Cartwright at a hearing about President Trumps 2021 budget request. It proposed cutting Health and Human Services funding by $9.5 billion, including a 15 percent cut of $1.2 billion to the CDC and a $35 million decrease to the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Funds annual contribution.
The question I have is, are we prepared to fight pandemics if we cut from programs that are specifically designed to prepare for them, including the coronavirus? Cartwright asked.
Vought responded by saying Trump signed into law the $8.3 billion emergency supplemental package Congress approved last week.
That funding, a significant increase over the $2.5 billion emergency request the White House sent over, would be spread out over several years. The funding in question at the hearing was for next years spending. Cartwright pressed Vought as to whether he would amend the request.
The question is today, as we sit here and we know about coronavirus and the impact its taking on the people of the world and the economies of the world and the stock market and everything, as you sit here today, are you ready to take that back? he pressed.
Trump’s Staff Cuts Have Undermined Covid
White House cut staff tasked with identifying global health problems in China, and tried to slash CDC funding
The Trump administration badly undermined the effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak by getting rid of most staff tasked with identifying global health problems in China while repeatedly attempting to slash funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , according to a new report by an environmental watchdog.
Over the past three years, the Trump administration has drastically reduced a team working in China to identify global health threats like Covid-19, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. The initiatives 11 CDC staffers have been cut to three people, while 39 workers classed as local employees have been reduced to 11 people.
The administration disbanded the national security councils directorate charged with global health and has sought to go further still, requesting budget cuts from the CDC of up to 20% for each of the past three years, only to be rebuffed by Congress. Trumps effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act would also have reduced the CDCs funding by around 8% a year.
The CDC has still undergone an erosion of budget and staff under Trump but without Congresss defiance thousands more Americans would likely die over the next few months because of even more reduced capacity at the CDC, according to the report, compiled by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative .
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The Claim: President Trump Fired The ‘entire’ Pandemic Response Team In 2018
From nearly the start of the coronavirus pandemic, critics, in particular, have pointed out that President Donald Trump dismantled the very team that should’ve been preparing for an outbreak.
“In 2018 Trump fired the ENTIRE pandemic response team,” one recent social media post reads. “Keep re-posting this until the election.”
The user behind the post did not respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY.
A Clear And Present Danger
There is no wall high enough to keep virulent pathogens from crossing national borders, and when they emerge there is a potential for widespread illness and death. Containing the first major Ebola epidemic in 2014-2016, which killed 11,000 people in West Africa, required an enormous global effort. Only 11 patients were treated for Ebola in the U.S., but that was because President Obama took the threat seriously, appointing an Ebola czar to coordinate U.S. preparedness and assistance.
Now that the White House has evicted the NSCs global health security experts, it is not clear who in the Trump administration will be responsible for coordinating U.S. efforts in the event of a global pandemic.
The new coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China, has already spread to 25 countries. The CDC has confirmed that person-to-person transmission has occurred in the U.S. It will take a large-scale effort to contain this outbreak, and battling the virus requires money.
Although the Gates Foundation and other charities give away billions of dollars to promote public health, such gifts are no substitute for the kind of specific, targeted scientific research into emerging diseases that the CDC and other federal agencies are uniquely designed to conduct. Fighting epidemics also requires planning to prepare and coordinate with hospitals, medical professionals, pharmacies, airlines, local government and the general public, which also requires funding.
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Massive Cuts To Science And Medicine In Trump Budget
The budget proposed by United States President Donald Trump calls for massive cuts to spending on medical and scientific research, public health and disease-prevention programs, and health insurance for low-income Americans and their children. It has drawn intense criticism from many corners, including scientists, physicians and politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties. The only good thing about this horror of a budget, according to one pundit, is that it will likely get eviscerated in Congress.
Under the proposed budget, formally delivered to Congress yesterday, the National Institutes of Health would see its annual budget shrink 18% from $31.8 billion to $26 billion. This includes cuts to the National Cancer Institute , National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute , and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would lose 17% of its budget, a cut of $1.2 billion. This news prompted former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden to and rebuke this assault on science that will devastate programs that protect Americans from many deadly conditions, including diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. He noted that the cuts would give the CDC its lowest budget in 20 years and lead to an increase in illness and deaths.
Deep cuts to science and medicine in Trump budget draw intense criticism.
How Trump Gutted Obamas Pandemic
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When the first reported cases of Ebola in Guinea came to light in March 2014, it set off a mad scramble inside the Obama White House to track and contain the spread of the virus, which killed around 50% of the people it infected. Though not nearly as contagious as the current coronavirus, an epidemic, or even a pandemic, seemed possible if the disease werent confined to its West African redoubts. The Obama White House had clear protocols and chains of command for these kinds of threats. The way to stop the forest fire is to isolate the embers, Beth Cameron, a former civil servant who ran the White Houses National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, told me. Cameron and her colleagues quickly drew up a memo to Susan Rice, the national-security adviser, and Lisa Monaco, the homeland-security adviser, outlining what was known about the outbreak, setting off a chain of action that went up through the Oval Office, then spread through the government.
In the summer of 2018, on John Boltons watch, the team Cameron once ran was one of three directorates merged into one amid an overhaul and streamlining of Donald Trumps National Security Council. And the position Monaco previously held, homeland-security adviser, was downgraded, stripped of its authority to convene the cabinet.
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Trump Budget Proposal A Disinvestment In Us Health: Cuts To Cdc Hrsa
Despite increasing health threats, the White House is calling for slashing hundreds of millions of dollars from the countrys lead public health agencies.
In February, President Donald Trump released his federal budget proposal for fiscal year 2021, calling for a cut of more than $693 million at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as a $742 million cut to programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration. Overall, the presidents budget proposes a 9% funding cut at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a 26% cut at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, massive cuts in Medicare and Medicaid spending, and funding decreases for safety net programs such as food and housing assistance.
This budget, put simply, is a disinvestment in the health of Americans, said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, in a news release. We have an incredibly dedicated public health workforce that is ready to act. But we need federal investments to make that happen. An adequate and rational investment in the health of Americans is missing from this budget.
While White House budget proposals are typically considered dead on arrival meaning the final budget that makes it out of congressional negotiations and is signed into law will likely look nothing like Trumps proposal health advocates warn that it still serves as a starting point for negotiations.
The Embeds Removal Is Emblematic Of The Criticism Trump Has Faced Over His Coronavirus Response
Questions over what Quick could have done had she been allowed to stay in China come as the Trump administration faces numerous questions about its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and as it weathers a great deal of criticism from health care providers and state and local officials about the speed and seriousness of its response.
When the Trump administration first realized the coronavirus would be a serious problem has been an open question. Redfield has said the CDC learned of the threat it posed on December 31 Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said he learned January 3 Trump has said he was told sometime in late January or early February a claim officials told the Washington Post is very much at odds with reality.
Regardless of when the administration learned, had the embed been in place, the US and its allies could have received factual information about the virus and Covid-19 far sooner than they did. Learning earlier may have led the administration to act earlier, and certainly would have given it more time to make plans around testing and the stockpiling and distribution of medical equipment that is currently in great demand and in short supply, like masks and ventilators.
And to Trumps point, being able to act earlier would have led to lives saved not just in the US, but in other countries as well.
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