In the never-ending quest to destroy President Trump, the media has been fixated on two factors amid the coronavirus outbreak, a shortage of testing kits and the Trump administration’s decision to disband the White House pandemic office.
In an extension of the latter, the press has also reported on the efforts to cut funding for government health agencies, hindsight being 20/20 for armchair quarterbacks.
The Washington Post reported last month that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was forced to cut efforts to prevent global disease outbreak by 80% when funding for the program began to run out.
More from the Washington Post:
“Local public health agencies have lost almost a quarter of their overall workforce since 2008 — a cut of almost 60,000 workers, according to national associations of health officials. The agencies’ main source for federal funding — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s emergency preparedness budget — has been cut 30 percent since 2003. And the Trump administration has proposed cutting even deeper.”
As noted, these cuts have come over a number of years, to include when President Barack Obama was in office.
As the Huffington Post reported, Obama wasn’t consistent when it came to funding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After seeing an increase in his first three years in the White House, the CDC’s budget fell by $430 million in fiscal year 2013, as Obama’s funding requests for the CDC dropped.
With spending going unchecked in Washington, DC, the real culprit may by austerity — and a Congress that refuses to address overspending.
An unnamed administration official told The Huffington Post that “sequestration and tight budget caps have had an impact on a range of critical health care programs.”
As the coronavirus ramped up, Business Insider ran with this blaring headline in late February: “Trump spent the past 2 years slashing the government agencies responsible for handling the coronavirus outbreak.”
“Fears of a pandemic come after the Trump administration spent the past several years gutting the very government programs that are tasked with combatting such a crisis,” the liberal website reported.
Intent on not letting a serious crisis go to waste, the progressive left is capitalizing on the opportunity to blame Republicans.
A new ad by the hard-left Agenda Project Action Fund, the group responsible for the controversial “Granny Off the Cliff” ad run during the battle for Obamacare, has come out with a brutal ad titled, “Republican Cuts Kill.”
The pandemic office was part of a directorate from the National Security Council, and the decision to disband it was made in May 2018, after John Bolton became national security adviser.
The NSC had swollen to a staff of 250 under the Obama administration and has since been downsized to about 115.
Bolton, not necessarily Trump-friendly, took to Twitter on Saturday to dismiss claims that this impaired the nation’s ability to respond.
“Claims that streamlining NSC structures impaired our nation’s bio defense are false,” Bolton tweeted. “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.”
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.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) March 14, 2020
At the same time, Trump’s recent budget included a funding increase for the CDC and the National Institutes of Health.
The president was asked about disbanding the pandemic office Friday during a press briefing when NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker cited unnamed officials who reportedly worked in that office saying valuable time was lost because of that decision.
An annoyed Trump responded by calling it “a nasty question,” stressing that he didn’t do it, but was cut off before he finished his thought.
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