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"I have yet to see an adequate explanation of this failure.
...
Were the threat human one might think Trump was allied with the enemy."

It's been quite clear from the earliest beginning ... the United States of America was grossly unprepared. Just as Boris Johnson's UK knew it from a dry test with damning results a few years earlier.

Thus, the economic calculation was the theory of "herd immunity".  Conservative friend in mischief Mark Rutte signed on and gave political instructions to the RIVM.

POTUS, his National Security Council and CDC head Redfield knew the status as soon as the "flu" epidemic was recognized and spreading in Wuhan, China.

  • Trump had pulled out the US CDC representatives by WHO in China.
  • Trump and his minion Steve Bannon deleted the Pandemic Response Team from the NSC.

The 9/11 attacks was followed by the spurious anthrax attack after the escape from Fort Detrick (USAMRIID) in Maryland. The US Government commissioned a Biothreat division

Ten Years After 9/11 and the Anthrax Attacks: Protecting Against Biological Threats

Biological Threat Assessment: Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?  | Arms Control |

    The country has made steady progress in the last decade, but there is much more that needs to be done to make us resilient to biological threats. There is vitally important work to do in countermeasure development, public health preparedness, biosurveillance and other key issues in the years ahead. We hope that the coming reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act will address many of the issues that I have outlined today. Thank you for this opportunity to provide recommendations in each of these areas.

My earlier post ...

ObamaCare vs Trump Doesn't Care

Additional reading ...

Coronavirus - Interview with German Prof. Alexander Kekulé

by Oui on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 07:11:15 PM EST
I think Trump's dissolution of the Pandemic Response Team from the NSC was more likely than not just his way of formally disrespecting what Obama had done and what 'experts' had recommended. It is not surprising from his campaign rhetoric. We might also credit his own 'reasoning' - that he thought we didn't need these experts sitting around when there was no pandemic. Nor did he think it likely that he would benefit politically from any pandemic response. With Trump it is always all about him and the moment.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 08:22:02 PM EST
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My recollection of the time is that it was John Bolton who was instrumental in the disbanding of the team during his time as national security advisor. Whether he was acting independently or on instructions from Trump, I don't know, but the overall responsibility lies with Trump regardless. It was he who appointed a nutter like Bolton to the job.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 09:05:21 PM EST
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The nutter Bolton [oops ... did I say nutter Steve Bannon?] was the instigator. Bolton got Bush "elected" through the US Supreme Court and dimple ballots in Florida after brother Jeb failed to ease George into the White House. Voter purge did the trick in the end.
by Oui on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 09:31:19 PM EST
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"Bolton got Bush "elected" through the US Supreme Court and dimple ballots in Florida..." I thought those honors went to James Baker and John Roberts.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 03:33:45 PM EST
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Multiple persons on every level from counting ballots to SOS Katherine Harris, Gov. Rick Scott to the Florida and U.S. Supreme Court. The purging of voters was done by former CIA cocaïne flights pilot Hank Ascher, reinvented as data processor and hired in 1998. Based in Boca Raton, DTS Technologies ... a subsidiary of ChoicePoint in Atlanta did the trick. Covered this issue @BooMan.

Florida recount ... on the ground Bolton's posse forced their way into the counting process.

The Great Florida Recount of 2000 as told by two survivors -- John R. Bolton and Sheila Moloney

Bolton: We're prepared for election recount | JPost |

Photo of dimpled ballot count with John Bolton

by Oui on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 04:44:31 PM EST
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by Oui on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 04:49:52 PM EST
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Having read Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents, produced by that administration, I'd say the so-called Pandemic Response Team has little to nothing do with coordination of domestic public health S/D. This document is almost exclusively concerned with "host country" CONTAINMENT -- executive branch command structure, foreign relations, and intelligence detail, or "fighting over there."

It follows--not only from that document, but CDC actual, miserable performance at home and abroad over prior decade--nothing lost, nothing gained from institutional knowledge in the current administration.

One might expect more, but that's not reasonable in points of fact (incidentally or historicallyy).

by Cat on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 09:44:58 PM EST
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