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Contrary To What The Media Told You, Trump Did Not Weaken Biodefenses

The misconception stems from a reorganization of the NSC to reduce its size and streamline its functions after having ballooned in the bureaucracy.


Democrats and the corporate media have politicized the Trump administration’s approach to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, alleging that the president left the nation unprepared to deal with the outbreak by “dissolving” the White House office in charge of leading the response.

Trump however, did no such thing. The misconception stems from a reorganization of the National Security Council (NSC) to reduce its size and streamline its functions after having ballooned in bureaucratic size during the Obama administration.

Tim Morrison was the director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the NSC in the Trump White House before joining the Hudson Institute as a senior fellow. In a Washington Post op-ed, Morrison explains that part of that reorganization included the consolidation of three overlapping directorates including arms control and nonproliferation, weapons of mass destruction terrorism, and global health and biodefense into one arm of the NSC. Together they created the office that Morrison would lead starting in 2018.

“It is this reorganization that critics have misconstrued or intentionally misrepresented,” Morrison wrote in the Washington Post.

“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.”

While critics point to Trump’s reduction of NSC staff as evidence of the administration’s negligence related to the epidemic, Morrison notes that former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, congressional oversight committees, and prominent members of the Obama administration all concurred that the NSC had become “too large and too operationally focused.”

“That is why Trump began streamlining the NSC staff in 2017,” Morrison wrote.