A Common Misconception

Many of my liberal friends and relatives (yes, I do have some of those) on Facebook have been posting claims that the reason we are having problems with the coronavirus is because President Trump dissolved the office at the White House responsible for disaster preparedness. It’s an odd claim, and I wondered when I heard it what it was based on–all fake news is based on part of a story–just not always the part that is true.

Today Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog posted an article explaining exactly what was done.

The article explains:

But according to Tim Morrison, the former aide to whom direction of this office was assigned, the office was not “dissolved.” It remains in operation under Morrison’s successor.

Writing in the Washington Post, Morrison states:

When I joined the National Security Council staff in 2018, I 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.

It is true that the Trump administration has seen fit to shrink the NSC staff. But the bloat that occurred under the previous administration clearly needed a correction. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, congressional oversight committees and members of the Obama administration itself all agreed the NSC was too large and too operationally focused. . . .

The reduction of force in the NSC has continued since I departed the White House. But it has left the biodefense staff unaffected — 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.

(emphasis (underline) added in Power Line article)

The article at Power Line Blog continues:

As part of the effort to make the NSC more effective, the Trump administration created the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate, a consolidation of three directorates into one (the three were arms control and nonproliferation, weapons of mass destruction terrorism, and global health and biodefense, which obviously overlap). Morrison says “it is this reorganization that critics have misconstrued or intentionally misrepresented.” (Emphasis added) But, “if anything, the combined directorate was stronger because related expertise could be commingled.”

The article concludes:

Morrison, then, is not an apologist for Trump. He’s an ally of Bolton, his boss at the NSC whom Trump has attacked. Reportedly Morrison has been called “Bolton without a mustache.”

Morrison concedes that some of the criticism of the president’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is “warranted,” though “much [is] not.” (The odds are strongly against any leader not making mistakes in responding to something as unprecedented as this pandemic.) But the claim that Trump dissolved the pandemic response office isn’t just unwarranted. It is fake news.

As you can see, the claims being made by the political left and their allies are simply not true. They are simply another attempt to turn the country over in November to one of two grumpy old men who will undo what progress has been made in shrinking government and bringing manufacturing back to America.