On Friday in the midst of the global coronavirus crisis, one-time Obama appointee to the National Security Council (NSC) Beth Cameron wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 had been “slow and inadequate.” She suggested the reason for that was the closure of the NSC’s Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense.
But on Monday, Tim Morrison, former senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the National Security Council responded in the Post in an editorial entitled, “No, the White House didn’t ‘dissolve’ its pandemic response office. I was there.”
Morrison angrily charged that Cameron was simply taking part in a Dem-crafted election-year political narrative and that she was not telling the truth about the office’s closure.
“It has been alleged by multiple officials of the Obama administration, including in The Post, that the president and his then-national security adviser, John Bolton, “dissolved the office” at the White House in charge of pandemic preparedness,” wrote Morrison. “Because I led the very directorate assigned that mission, the counterproliferation and biodefense office, for a year and then handed it off to another official who still holds the post, I know the charge is specious.”
Morrison lamented the shamelessness of the political gamesmanship being employed by Democrats during a “worldwide health emergency.”
“Now, I’m not naive. This is Washington. It’s an election year. Officials out of power want back into power after November,” he wrote. “But the middle of a worldwide health emergency is not the time to be making tendentious accusations.
“It is true that the Trump administration has seen fit to shrink the NSC staff. But the bloat that occurred under the previous administration clearly needed a correction,” he continued.
He pointed out that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served in the Obama administration, agreed with congressional oversight committees and other members of the Obama administration that the NSC had grown too large and needed a course correction from being too operationally focused. He referenced a 2015 Post article that found between the time of the Clinton administration and the second term of the Obama administration, NSC staff “had quadrupled in size, to nearly 400 people.”
“That is why Trump began streamlining the NSC staff in 2017,” wrote Morrison.
Sweeping away the fog, he told how a reorganization within the NSC actually resulted in a stronger directorate.
“One such move at the NSC was to create the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate,” said Morrison, “which was the result of consolidating three directorates into one, given the obvious overlap between arms control and nonproliferation, weapons of mass destruction terrorism, and global health and biodefense. It is this reorganization that critics have misconstrued or intentionally misrepresented. If anything, the combined directorate was stronger because related expertise could be commingled.”
He went on to insist that even with a continuing effort underway to trim the NSC fat, “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.”
“Never let a good crisis go to waste,” also known as Rahm’s Rule, is an ongoing political tactic in the Democrats’ bottomless bag of tricks. Needless to say, the unprecedented current global threat to life and livelihood means to imply that there is much to be gained politically by those who work to thwart progress and success against the coronavirus.
Democrat Senators Chuck Schumer and Chris Murphy recently claimed that the president slashed funding to the CDC’s anti-pandemic efforts. However, the CDC last week denied those and similar claims being made by those aiming to counter-productively gum up the political environment.
Nonetheless the falsehood was dutifully put out by the progressive media and the politicization of the war against the coronavirus will doubtlessly continue.
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