While not being political, during the current pandemic, a point was made in the media that the Trump Administration eliminated the White House Health and Security Office. Some individuals have claimed that this elimination resulted in the lack of preparedness of the US. But is that true?FACTS: The National Security Council staff is supposed to help the president coordinate the government response to international crises and homeland security issues, by identifying emerging problems and making sure Cabinet agencies and other departments are working cooperatively.After Barack Obama became president in January 2009, he eliminated the White House Health and Security Office, which worked on international health issues. However, after multiple issues arose with the 2014 Ebola epidemic, President Obama established a Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense at the NSC in 2016. This directorate had its own staff and was headed by an individual who no longer reported to the President but to the national security adviser.This structure survived during the early part of the Trump’s Administration, when the office was headed by Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer. After John Bolton became the national security adviser, he decided the organizational chart was a mess and led to too many conflicts. He also thought the staff was too large, having swollen to 430 people, including staffers in the pipeline.Bolton reorganized the directorate and eliminated a number of deputy national security advisers so there was just one. And he folded the global health directorate into a new one that focused on counterproliferation and biodefense. Bolton thought there was obvious overlap between arms control and nonproliferation, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and global health and biodefense. Morrison, who headed the combined office beginning in July 2018, was named Deputy Assistant to the President and thus had more clout and access than the head of the previous Directorate under Obama.One can see the dueling narratives between the Obama and Trump administrations, neither entirely incorrect. The office — as set up by Obama — was folded into another office in the Trump Administration. Thus, one could technically claim the office was eliminated. But the staff slots did not disappear, and the key mission of team remained a priority. So, one can also claim nothing changed. The positions that made up the old unit still are filled within the NSC and their funding was actually increased under Trump. Morrison answered directly to the President and could get things quickly to his attentionQuestion: The real change between the Obama and Trump Administrations was a philosophical one. Under the Obama policy, epidemics and pandemics were treated as global health issues that could be addressed through international diplomacy, transparency, and international cooperation. By improving healthcare in third world countries, it was believed that outbreaks could be prevented. Under the Trump policy, it was felt that the epidemiology of a biological health emergency is virtually identical to a bioterrorism attack. As a result, during 2018, the NSC merged three directorates into one to create a seamless interaction between those preparing for biological threats, regardless of whether they are man-made or naturally occurring.You are now the advisor to the President, based on what you have learned in the BSBD program, which approach do you agree with (or maybe something different). Based on your concept, argue with all of your passion why this should be the US policy. How would you implement your approach, who would you use as advisors (expertise not names), how would you maintain the National Strategic Stockpile and prioritize what goes into itFor more information on The National Security Council check on:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_National_Security_Council
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