It’s impossible to watch [the Chinese] without wondering, “What would we do? How would my government respond if this virus spread across my country?” For the United States, the answers are especially worrying because the government has intentionally rendered itself incapable. In 2018, the Trump administration fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management infrastructure. In numerous phone calls and emails with key agencies across the U.S. government, the only consistent response I encountered was distressed confusion. If the United States still has a clear chain of command for pandemic response, the White House urgently needs to clarify what it is —not just for the public but for the government itself, which largely finds itself in the dark.While Congress didn't go along with all of the Administration's requests to cut public health funding, they did cut global disease fighting budgets of CDC, NSC, DHS and HHS; and eliminated the $30 million Complex Crises Fund. In May 2018 the Resident eliminated the entire NSC Global Health Security unit, and before and after that time has steadily forced out administrators and cut staff and budgets for other relevant agencies.
In 2017 and 2018, the philanthropist billionaire Bill Gates met repeatedly with Bolton and his predecessor, H.R. McMaster, warning that ongoing cuts to the global health disease infrastructure would render the United States vulnerable to, as he put it, the “significant probability of a large and lethal modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes.” And an independent, bipartisan panel formed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies concluded that lack of preparedness was so acute in the Trump administration that the “United States must either pay now and gain protection and security or wait for the next epidemic and pay a much greater price in human and economic costs.”Okay, so why did they do this? Because in their view, government is the problem, not the solution. Rich people shouldn't have to pay taxes, and free markets create utopia, so it is impossible for their to be any real need to spend government money on this fanciful "public health" concept. As Margaret Thatcher said, there is no such thing as society. So, as Donald Trump says, there is no such thing as public health. After all, he is the healthiest person in history.
Good luck with your pneumonia, Mitch McConnell.