Under Trump, US Is Less Ready for Infectious Disease Outbreaks Like Coronavirus - Defense One
When there was an Ebola outbreak in 2014 the Trump administration reacted horribly. The ouitbreak was leveraged to promote his anti Obama rhetoric. He tweeted out calls for visa bans that doctors at the time opposed. Whatever one might think of his actions then, years have passed and the administration had a couple of years of a legislative majority to address deadly infectious disease policy. Science is unwelcome as ever in the Trump administration. Now predictably another threat is emerging, Wuhan Coronavirus. Sadly we are not at all well prepared.
Take a look at this tweet.
“So far, #Trump eliminated office of pandemic response, created after 2014 Ebola epidemic; drastically scaled back #CDC’s overseas outbreak prevention efforts (49 countries to 10) & stopped surveillance meant to detect new viral threats before they leap into humans.” #TrumpSARS
And these tweets from an Ebola keyword search at Twitter archives.
The Ebola doctor who just flew to N.Y. from West Africa and went on the subway, bowling and dining is a very SELFISH man-should have known!
Ebola has been confirmed in N.Y.C., with officials frantically trying to find all of the people and things he had contact with.Obama’s fault
I don’t know if President Obama isn’t stopping the flights from Ebola torn West Africa because he is stubborn, stupid, or just doesn’t care!
This is a clear example of how dangerous dismissing the science and scientific medical knowledge available is.
As coronavirus continues to spread, the Trump administration has declared a public health emergency and imposed quarantines and travel restrictions. However, over the past three years the administration has weakened the offices in charge of preparing for and preventing this kind of outbreak.
Two years ago, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates warned that the world should be “preparing for a pandemic in the same serious way it prepares for war”. Gates, whose foundation has invested heavily in global health, suggested staging simulations, war games and preparedness exercises to simulate how diseases could spread and to identify the best response.
The Trump administration has done exactly the opposite: It has slashed funding for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its infectious disease research. For fiscal year 2020, Trump proposed cutting the CDC budget by US$1.3 billion, nearly 20% below the 2019 level.