Tim Morrison is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and former senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the National Security Council.
President Trump gets his share of criticism some warranted, much not. But recently the president’s critics have chosen curious ground to question his response to the coronavirus outbreak since it began spreading from Wuhan, China, in December.
It has been alleged by multiple officials of the Obama administration, including in The Post, that the president and his then-national security adviser, John Bolton, “dissolved the office” at the White House in charge of pandemic preparedness. Because I led the very directorate assigned that mission, the counterproliferation and biodefense office, for a year and then handed it off to another official who still holds the post, I know the charge is specious.
He notes that Trump did shrink the NSC — because Obama had bloated it from 100 persons to 400 in just a few years.
But the NSC retained its epidemic personnel — just merged with biodefense and counterprolifereation.
One such move at the NSC was to create the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate, which was the result of consolidating three directorates into one, given the obvious overlap between arms control and nonproliferation, weapons of mass destruction terrorism, and global health and biodefense. It is this reorganization that critics have misconstrued or intentionally misrepresented. If anything, the combined directorate was stronger because related expertise could be commingled.
So you can see how the media eagerly misleads the public — yes, an “office” was dissolved. But most of the personnel making up that office were retained, and added to a new, merged office.
So they say “the office” was dissolved and intend you to take that to mean that the epidemic unit was disbanded.
That’s a lie, but that’s what they want you to believe.
They are the enemy of the people and a reckoning is coming.
Via Tami, John Bolton is now tweeting out the article quoted above:
The left repeatedly denies they are trying to spread fear and panic to hurt Trump, but try to provide a different reason for their constant lying. Are they simply incapable of getting a story correct? Are they THAT stupid?
Nope, it’s the truth. What’s now being rolled out is spin intended to provide political damage control because high-profile consequences have now emerged.
The National Security Council unit dedicated to recognizing and coordinating responses to emerging global health threats and bio-terrorism was disbanded. No centralized coordinating authority was ever established to replace it. Some of the personnel were retained and reassigned to other units having other missions. I posted a link to an article a few days ago that dates back to the time this actually occurred:
May 10, 2018 – Top White House official in charge of pandemic response exits abruptly
But he did order the disolve of the Y2K people now when the year 2000 rolls around again we wont be prepared! We are all gonna die! It will be Trumps fault.
@Greg: Oh, so the people actually IN the agency don’t know what they are talking about. Well, that’s what we have media for, isn’t it? To correct those who are actually THERE (though they are reported NOT there).
I guess it’s not a good recommendation to have these agencies if we got such a rapid and comprehensive response (much faster than under the last administration) if such an agency doesn’t even exist. Doesn’t appear we NEED them. Kind of like when the government shut down under Obama and no one noticed until he started inflicting additional pain and suffering.
Dissolving the NSC’s dedicated global health threat and bio-terrorism unit was a mistake. It was recognized as a mistake at the time by experts both inside and outside of the NSC, who went on record stating that to be the case.
It was apparent that we lacked expert, centralized coordination when the State Department overrode the recommendations of the CDC about the protocol for returning infected cruise ship passengers back to the United States. This looked like a dumb move to informed laymen because it was a dumb move. CDC opinion should have prevailed.
It sounded like we were getting weeks of contradictory messages from the health experts vs. the White House because we were. From one side we were getting increasingly alarming warnings; from the other, statements downplaying the seriousness of the threat, apparently intended to calm marketplace worries. We were told this was fully under control and would quickly blow over. This simply wasn’t true. Finally, today, it seems like there’s been actual convergence. This is progress.
Today San Francisco has gone on lockdown. Puerto Rico has an island-wide curfew from 9 pm to 5 am. We’re going to see more of this, unfortunately. Given local situations, it probably isn’t overreaction.
Did Trump Administration Fire the US Pandemic Response Team?
I ran the White House pandemic office. Trump closed it.
This is likely to be the colossal failure of Trump, not so much of the pandemic itself but rather Trump destroying institutions that protect us. And this is why Trump now has a new lie and spin.
Tim Morrison? Golly gee, why not “cause Kellyanne Conway said so”?
You guys don’t even try anymore. But let me guess, you give yourself a 10?
@Ronald J. Ward: Still clinging to lies, I see.
@Ronald J. Ward:
Do you understand what these types of bullshit propaganda tactics by your losing party is going to cost you in November?
@Nathan Blue: News flash: AJ doesn’t care about facts.