Sunday, July 5, 2020

Did Trump Dissolve White House Pandemic Response Office?

In short – the answer is NO. Obama officials have been using the mainstream media to falsely claim that President Trump, and his then-national security adviser, John Bolton, “dissolved the office” at the White House in charge of pandemic preparedness.

Not only is this politically motivated, it is dishonest and false. According to Tim Morrison, the former senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the National Security Council (NSC), this accusation is totally “specious.”

As Morrison wrote in the Washington Post on March 16, when he joined the NSC staff in 2018, he inherited a strong and skilled staff in the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate.

“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.”

Clearly, the White House’s pandemic response capabilities were in no way reduced or impaired.

Yes, the Trump administration since 2017 has rightly been shrinking the bloated NSC staff which had quadrupled from the Clinton Administration through Obama. But former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, congressional oversight committees, and even former members of the Obama administration, all agreed the NSC was too large and too operationally focused. It needed to be pruned and streamlined.

Morrison explains that part of this NSC streamlining was to create the “counterproliferation and biodefense directorate,” which was the result of consolidating three directorates into one, due to the obvious overlap between the areas.

“It is this reorganization that critics have misconstrued or intentionally misrepresented. If anything, the combined directorate was stronger because related expertise could be commingled.” He states.

“The reduction of force in the NSC has continued since I departed the White House. But it has left the biodefense staff unaffected,” Morrison adds, “perhaps a recognition of the importance of that mission to the president, who, after all, in 2018 issued a presidential memorandum to finally create real accountability in the federal government’s expansive biodefense system.”

President Trump has been doing what is needed to ensure a proper national biodefense posture.

As described elsewhere, the NSC is designed to ensure that the President gets all the options he needs from all departments and agencies to make an informed decision and then coordinates the implementation across these same departments and agencies. Morrison does say that he worries that “further reductions at the NSC could impair its capabilities,” but believes “the current staffing level is fully up to the job.”

Let’s stop spreading politically motivated disinformation during a crisis, and ensure the NSC continues to have the right size staff and structure to effectively pursue its mandated function to provide options and coordinate policy implementation on a strategic level.

This includes the current counterproliferation and biodefense directorate, which is key to helping the White House face the current Chinese coronavirus pandemic and even worse pandemics that may be looming in the future.

Paul Crespo is a defense and national security expert. He served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. He holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. Paul is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and a Contributor to American Defense News.

37 COMMENTS

  1. Now if the Pandemic unit was not disolved and put in different units broken up now who exactly is the head of the Pandemic unit who controls what and when they do something.
    Now please do not say Trump who has no idea even what a pandemic is let alone how to deal with it. Trump is a business man not a Pandemic expert likie was in charge whrn it was desolved.

    • Robert sounds like a Communist Propagandist, problem is, he’s not mixing “Some” of the truth with the LIES. Normally those LIARS on the left Bait with the truth, THEN go full-bore with the Fake News and/or LIES. Got that Robert?

      • DonL
        Now explain to me why the true experts in the Pandemic field were dismisseed and the actual unit was integrated into other units with no Pandemic professional in charge of a Pandemic unit which was n o more because itr was put under other persons who knew nothing about inmfectious pandemics.
        Now like getting rid of a specialize surgeon, of a specialized surgical unit, while putting the people in other units, that it still exists. Now if that is so, why is it some would say the unit still exists.

        • Grow up. There is info out to describe the situation correctly but lefty freak are trying to use the situation for political purposes ONLY which includes the MSM and blowing it out of proportion for said purposes. AND no, I’m not wasting my time explaining. You just keep listening to CNN and MSNBC and the rest of the lame stream media.

    • Thank God sleepy joe isn’t in charge. Trump has surrounded himself with the best people to handle this pandemic. The left lies and Obama who sat on his hands for 6 months in 2009 with the swine flu, have no right to criticize this President. 1000 people died before Obama did anything. He never banned travel from other countries. Donald Trump was called a racist for banning travel from China. The left never lets a catastrophe go to waste. Rahm Emmanuel said that. Instead of supporting this President and being a calming influence, they are creating havoc and panic by all their lies. They are a disgusting bunch. I would say evil and should never get power. Our President has acted in a swift and decisive manner and when all is said and done will have put we the people in a good position to defeat this virus. Everything he’s initiated will be the new normal when other pandemics hit. All has been unprecedented. This is why the MSM and the previous admin is bashing him. They know he makes Obama look like the failed President he was. Obama was just voted the worst President in history. Jimmy Carter’s happy about that. The left are a pathetic bunch. They are negativity in action while Trump is a shining example of optimism. Where sleepy joe? Anyone hear from him? He is still wondering what state he’s in and he’s in his own house. What losers these lefties are.

    • Trump has no idea what a Pandemic is??? Let’s see, his IQ is obviously way above yours. He is a billionaire (I take it you are not a billionaire and I am guessing; not a millionaire either; a thousandaire maybe? Oh yeah, he also beat Hillary for the Presidency. But he just can’t understand a Pandemic? You are either deranged or just don’t have the mental ability to comprehend anything, Robert.

  2. Hey Robert….tell me which President has expertise in dealing with a pandemic situation? Certainly not Obama! He was a community organizer whatever the heck that is! Presidents are elected because of their leadership abilities, not b/c they experienced in spread of viruses. And Trump is doing exactly that.

    • Swell said. And remember, obama was too busy playing golf and lunch bucket joe was too busy stealing taxpayer dollars from china and Ukraine when the H1N1 virus hit in 2010 and it was not after 4000 deaths in America did they pull their heads out of teach others asses that it was time (6mos) to involve the CDC.

      • Obama was a sick joke on the American people and nothing more. Problem with many in this country is that they look at the presidency as just a job where one can make great notoriety, money and acceptance in high places…the so called brass ring of a Merry Go-Round. Their understanding of Leadership; problem solving; and integrity is next to nil. This is how we got in so much trouble with Obama and others. You don’t hire people based on their color or good looks; you hire them based upon their being smart and having the right qualifications. Just crazy otherwise!!!

  3. Trump is doing an outstanding job and through his strong leadership and heartfelt love for America we will overcome this virus and its economic effect. I know that the democrats and all those who hate Trump will hope for the virus to spread, people to die and the economy to collapse. Since the Chinese want Trump gone and a democrat elected maybe this whole thing is another part of the democrat’s plan to take out Trump since it failed in its other hate filled attempts.

    • Wouldn’t doubt the left had something to do with this. We are talking evil. Globalist elites who are definitely tied to China at the hip. What the MSM is doing propping China up is sedition if not treason. Hopefully most of America sees right through them.

  4. I agree with truthseeker. Can’t wait to see what our President does with China. Bring back our companies back to the USA. Trump is the strongest President in my lifetime.

    • Yes he’s a real game changer. A thorn in the lefts side because he is out to turn globalism into history. This pandemic is proof that globalism is bad for our country. Open borders is a main reason for a worldwide pandemic. Thank God Trump has put this idea of globalism in the trash heap. America first. Our people do not need a communist China controlling 90% of our antibiotics and medical supplies. I think Trump will change that first thing, it’s ridiculous that all the previous administrations have allowed this to happen. Trump is the only one who can crush these globalists and bring sanity back to Anerics. These companies better be packing up and coming home or Trump will force then to by making it far more expensive to do work over there. God bless Donald J. Trump

    • The way to get at CHINA is stop getting anything form China Send everything back Don’t except anything from China Their Economy will collapse. Amen

  5. the last occupant of the whitehouse was like a wolverine, if he couldn’t eat it or screw it , he craped on it,or in it.he screwed the system up so badly that it was very hard to find all of the poison-pills that he left. idiots that had no reason to be there were waiting to destroy anything that trump tryed to fix. as far as I am concerned trump’s only mistake is in not firing all of the obama-clinton turds that were left on the floor of the whitehouse…

  6. They keep saying streamline but, they don’t say how many persons were left in the unit after the “streamlining” American want to know.

    • Hawk,
      You don’t speak for Americans. The American’s I know don’t give a crap how many people are in the unit, it’s people like you who are trying to make the President look bad that want to know, so you can twist it and bend it to fit your anti-Trump narrative. Get over yourself…

  7. Hawk,
    According to Tim Morrison, the former senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the National Security Council (NSC), this accusation is totally “specious.” He also believes “the current staffing level is fully up to the job.” I hope you have hoarded lots of toilet paper, because your head is so far up your own ass you’re going to need all of it to clean yourself up!

  8. If it can be demonstrated that these congenital liars are actually disseminating provably false information then they need to be arrested under the War Powers Act.
    Lather – Rinse – Repeat until the lying stops, either through people keeping their lying mouths shut or by being “involuntarily sequestered”
    Veritas Vincit.

  9. I’m an American living, working in China and here they say “the Wuhan virus “, I think President Trump is doing a fantastic good job as POTUSA!!

  10. Secretary Robert Gates caring person of the USA? —no way!
    He is the leftover of the Obama ADM. and the Obama ideology
    Let’s Our POTUS and his lawyers look into the constitution for laws on treasonous actions and what to do with those who are treasonous to the USA
    Our founding father knew of that…everything is there in our Constitution and laws
    Do what we did during the Nuremberg trails?
    What seems fitting? At best is to do a Chinese military movement–firing squad?
    Oh, NYC has military crawling there?
    Leadership-none?
    Chinese government does not look at its people like the USA does … is that a FACT

  11. Sounds to me like that agency is not liking the downsizing. However, downsizing a great idea as there are too many government employees and the more the better is definitely NOT better. Just wasting tax payer dollars and we now know that most presidents are lead by the government employees or deep state who want to maintain the status quo they benefit from in some nasty ways like power and control they are not entitled too. Those who assume that a necessary group is gone are ridiculous. Back in the 60s, the early 60s we lived in northern VA. I have walked the halls of the pentagon, the capital, many military bases, etc.. And in the 90s I walked around them again including the FBI training facitily, etc.. Now the complex of our government has spilled over into the adjoining states. I can NOT imagine downsizing is not advisable. It has become utterly a juggernaut and far to gigantic.

    Everything the government does is overdone. There are duplicates and triplicates of everything the government oversees. And by now there are probably at least five duplications of everything done.

    Trim it down President Trump and do not listen to the ones who are whining. It is past time just in the agencies to reduce and streamline. If you saw the agencies at budget time you all would be shocked. Most are dumping money on questionable stuff just to show they spent id all and avoid a reduction in what they are alloted. It is almost funny.

    Or to show they are not functioning well, just go online to ask a question about your retirement benefits in my case and you either have multiple calls to make, or you are forced to leave a voice mail and wait. The online contacts suck even more. I wonder how truly busy they all are? It boggles my mind as even though it’s government I do understand the process being a retired CPA, BSA, programmer on old mainframe stuff and some new stuff and it should not be this burdened. Hum?

    Good luck simplifying the mess. Some own the process too much to change thus the stories about being too quick to change. The now owners of the old process are the biggest objectors to change as they have worries over job security and their vested interest in being the spider in the midst of the process and those oh so important control issues proliferate.

    It is common in regular business to resist change but it has to be much worse in government. These stories of we have no one to do the job anymore because of the downsizing are a joke especially if you have seen the government complex just that around DC. Go Trump, what you are doing is going to save the money of the tax payers in the end and I hope it becomes a prescedent for future presidents who are not lead like the sheeple.

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