Conflicting Opinions On What Happened To The Team
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Beth Cameron, former Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense in the NSC, wrote, When President Trump took office in 2017, the White Houses National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense survived the transition intact.
Its mission was the same as when I was asked to lead the office, established after the Ebola epidemic of 2014: to do everything possible within the vast powers and resources of the U.S. government to prepare for the next disease outbreak and prevent it from becoming an epidemic or pandemic. One year later, I was mystified when the White House dissolved the office, leaving the country less prepared for pandemics like covid-19 .
On March 14, 2020, John Bolton described the changes made to the team as streamlining. He tweeted: Claims that streamlining NSC structures impaired our nation’s bio defense are false. Global health remained a top NSC priority, and its expert team was critical to effectively handling the 2018-19 Africa Ebola crisis. The angry Left just can’t stop attacking, even in a crisis.
On March 19, 2020, former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called the changes elimination. He tweeted: The Obama-Biden Administration set up the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense to prepare for future pandemics like COVID-19. Donald Trump eliminated it and now we’re paying the price.
Shirking Freedom Of Information Act Responsibilities
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many federal agencies have significantly curtailed their responses to requests for information from the public, in violation of the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act . While it is to be expected that there may be some delays in the FOIA process as with other government services in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis the magnitude of the delays and counterproductive changes to FOIA processing procedures raise questions about the extent to which the government is acting in good faith.
Information requests relating to shortages of medical equipment, testing capacity, and other life-or-death circumstances relating to the coronavirus are critical tools for holding the government accountable. However, agencies such as the CDC have created obstacles to filing requests, citing the pandemic. They have stopped taking FOIA requests by mail, fax, and even email and have rejected many of the requests they do receive. During the first few months of the pandemic while people were sheltering in place, delivery workers feared exposure to the virus, and there was a general push towards electronic communication the Federal Bureau of Investigation claimed that it could no longer respond to FOIA requests filed electronically during the pandemic and required all requests to be delivered through the mail.
Political Official Seeking To Censor And Attack Centers For Disease Control And Prevention
Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign official who became a top spokesman at the Department of Health and Human Services , led a campaign alongside his personal scientific adviser to censor scientific publications at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and undermine CDC experts who sought to warn the public of the dangers of the coronavirus.
In June, after CDC Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat urged Americans to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Caputo and his scientific adviser Dr. Paul Alexander accused her of seeking to undermine President Trump. Dr. Alexander contradicted Dr. Schuchat by falsely claiming that Covid-19 posed basically 0 risk to children. Caputo then intervened with CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield to attempt to get Dr. Schuchat reprimanded or fired. Caputo also sought to punish CDC communications officials who had allowed a CDC epidemiologist to speak with NPR about the Trump administrations efforts to stop hospitals from reporting Covid-19 cases to the CDC.
Don’t Miss: How Many Times Did Trump Lie During The Debate
Do You Know Someone Who Has Lost The Battle With Covid
In our effort to cover this pandemic as thoroughly as possible, wed like to hear from the loved ones of people who have died from the coronavirus.
They also took blood samples from people in rural China, and learned that, in living among wildlife, they had been exposed to coronaviruses a clear sign that, if those viruses spread easily among humans, they could take off. That raised the red flag, said Mazet.
Coronaviruses were jumping easily across species lines and were ones to watch for epidemics and pandemics, she said.
The program also trained nearly 7,000 people across medical and agricultural sectors in 30 countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East to help them detect deadly new viruses on their own. One of those labs was the Wuhan Institute of Virology the Chinese lab that quickly identified SARS-CoV-2, Mazet said.
The Wuhan lab received USAID funding for equipment, and PREDICT coordinators connected the scientists there with researchers in other countries in order to synchronize tracking of novel viruses before SARS-CoV-2.
The projects second funding cycle concluded on Sept. 30, 2019, less than two months before the new coronavirus probably began spreading. It was granted a zero-dollar six-month extension through March 2020 to write up final reports.
Claim No : The Trump Administration Cut Funding To Anti
Following criticism surrounding the United States response to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump came under fire for allegedly firing the United States of Americas pandemic response team.
The claim was populated by Popular Informations Judd Legum, who tweeted that Trump fired the entire pandemic response team before failing to replace them. The tweet, accompanied by a chart illustrating the increasing statewide presence of coronavirus COVID-19, continued by claiming Trump went so far as to eliminate the positions.
But how much of Legums tweet is true?
In 2018, then-Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biothreats Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer abruptly departed the National Security Council. In an attempt to reorganize for the sake of streamlining, John Bolton abolished Ziemers abandoned position and dissolved his team.
One month earlier, Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert, who the Washington Post reported called for a comprehensive biodefense strategy against pandemics and biological attacks, resigned from his position as Bolton prepared to assume power. However, NBC News later reported that Bossert was fired.
Former Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense in NSC Beth Cameron indirectly reinforced Legums stance.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Cameron wrote that the White House dissolved the office, subsequently leaving the United States underprepared for the emergence of a pandemic.
Read Also: Cost Of Room At Trump Tower
Implementing Extreme Immigration Restrictions Without A Clear Public Health Rationale
The Trump administration has used the pandemic to justify drastic changes to immigration policy. Administration officials have not provided credible explanations for why these measures are necessary to promote public health, suggesting they are more likely aimed at advancing President Trumps longstanding goal of restricting immigration.
In order to justify the suspension of several immigration laws for which immigration hardliners in the administration have long advocated, the president and the secretary of health and human services alleged without evidence that migrants were spreading the coronavirus. These controversial changes include blocking asylum-seekers from entering the United States and violating due process protections by immediately deporting immigrants who cross the southern border without documents. Although claiming to reduce the spread of infection, Customs and Border Protections immediate deportation procedures force migrants into close contact with each other, provide no exceptions to expulsion protocols for health concerns, and do not involve medical screening prior to removal.
Debate Corner: Trump Did Not Dismantle Cdc Pandemic Response Unit
Re: Vulnerable will be hurt by Trumps incompetence .
The recent letter on Trumps dismantling the Pandemic Response Unit is false. You can look it up on Factcheck.org.
Here is a brief quote from Factcheck, posted on March 12: As the COVID-19 disease caused by the new coronavirus has spread around the world, a number of politicians, news organizations and public figures have made the false claim that the Trump administration cut the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions anti-pandemic work in over 40 countries to just 10. The CDC told us thats not true.
It goes on further to say: CDC did not have to cut back its work from 49 to 10 countries, said Maureen Bartee, CDCs associate director for Global Health Security, in a statement to Factcheck.org.
In fact, in 2020, the CDC was awarded $183 million for global public health protection and in 2021 President Trump has requested that funding for global disease detection be increased further.
Why does the media not say anything about this? It seems that they simply parrot false remarks made by the likes of Chuck Schumer, and Joy Behar from ABCs The View. You simply cant always believe what you hear from media sources that have distinct agendas.
Recommended Reading: How To Contact Donald Trump By Mail
Pandemic Response Unit Was Formed Under Obama
In 2016, President Barack Obama expanded the National Security Council to include the Directorate of Global Health Security and Biodefense.
The unit, which focused in large part on pandemic preparedness, was formed in response to criticism of how his administration handled the Ebola outbreak in 2014-15, according to USA TODAY.
In May 2018, former national security adviser John Bolton restructured Trump’s National Security Council and disbanded the global health unit. Its former head, Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, resigned from the administration and was not replaced.
Tim Morrison, a former senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the NSC, wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post that he “inherited a strong and skilled staff in the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate” when he joined in July 2018.
“This team of national experts together drafted the National Biodefense Strategy of 2018 and an accompanying national security presidential memorandum to implement it an executive order to modernize influenza vaccines and coordinated the United States response to the Ebola epidemic in Congo, which was ultimately defeated in 2020,” he wrote.
He also said that the reorganization of the NSC was necessary after the “bloat that occurred” under Obama, when the staff quadrupled to nearly 400 a figure that even members of the Obama administration agreed was too large.
Fact check:Ad misuses quote from Barack Obama’s memoir
Did Donald Trump Fire Pandemic Officials Defund Cdc
If Your Time is short
- Fired may be a little strong, but in 2018, top national security officials handling pandemics left abruptly and were not replaced by the Trump administration.
- As for funding, theres no question that the Trump administration sought to cut key CDC budget categories. But thanks to Congress, that funding was restored and even increased in bills that Trump ultimately signed.
During a CNN town hall before the South Carolina primary, Mike Bloomberg a former New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate was asked whether he had confidence in President Donald Trump to handle a potential coronavirus pandemic, officially known as the COVID-19 virus.
After jokingly saying, “I feel so much better,” Bloomberg told the audience, “No. 1, he fired the pandemic team two years ago. No. 2, he’s been defunding the Centers for Disease Control. So, we don’t have the experts in place that we need. I hope he’s right that the virus doesn’t come here, that nobody gets sick. That would be a wonderful outcome. But the bottom line is, we are not ready for this kind of thing.”
Bloomberg had a point that the Trump administration ousted some of its officials dealing with global pandemics, but “defunding” the CDC is more complicated than he let on.
Instead, Trump has looked within his administration to fill roles for the coronavirus response.
Also Check: What College Did Trump Graduate From
In 2018 Trump Disbanded Pandemic Unit That Experts Had Praised
This article was published more than 2 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adjusts the microphone to speak during a news conference on the coronavirus with President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden at the White House, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Washington.The Associated Press
Public health and national security experts shake their heads when President Donald Trump says the coronavirus came out of nowhere and blindsided the world.
Theyve been warning about the next pandemic for years and criticized the Trump administrations decision in 2018 to dismantle a National Security Council directorate at the White House charged with preparing for when, not if, another pandemic would hit the nation.
It would be nice if the office was still there, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health, told Congress this week. I wouldnt necessarily characterize it as a mistake . I would say we worked very well with that office.
The NSC directorate for global health and security and bio-defence survived the transition from President Barack Obama to Trump in 2017.
Trumps elimination of the office suggested, along with his proposed budget cuts for the CDC, that he did not see the threat of pandemics in the same way that many experts in the field did.
The Globe and Mail
More: Coronavirus Could Lead To Drug Shortages In Us
The president fired the pandemic specialist in this country two years ago, Bloomberg said. So, there’s nobody here to figure out what the hell we should be doing.
In 2018, Trump administration eliminated the position of senior director for global health security and biodefense as part of a broader downsizing of the NSC spearheaded by then-National Security Adviser John Bolton. Earlier this month, 27 Democratic senators sent a letter to current National Security Adviser Robert OBrien urging him to reinstate the position and asking him to clarify how the White House plans to handle global health security threats.
Families concerned about the novel coronavirus threat need to know the NSC has a dedicated, senior official with appropriate expertise and authority to address the domestic and global health threats from the virus, they wrote. It is of paramount importance that this person approaches this role though a public health lens.
Read Also: Does Joni Ernst Wear A Wig
Flouting Expert Guidance Leading To White House Coronavirus Outbreak
Disregarding public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the White House hosted what medical experts are calling a coronavirus super spreader event on September 26, 2020, to announce the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Over 200 people attended the densely packed event, where guests mingled indoors as well as outside, with few wearing masks or physically distancing from one another. According to a White House official, this is where President Trump, along with Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis and members of the military, may have become infected with the coronavirus. At least 34 White House staffers and other contacts have been infected, including members of the White House housekeeping staff, as well as White House reporters.
As public health experts have explained throughout the pandemic, contact tracing is essential to stopping the spread of the virus. However, for nearly a week after the president announced that he had contracted the virus, the White House refused to allow the CDC to perform contact tracing , even though the CDC has the federal governments most extensive resources to do so. In the absence of a systematic effort to trace or advise attendees of the White House event, many dispersed across the country, engaging in activities that risked spreading the virus, including visiting public gyms and touring manufacturing facilities.