How A Crisis Simulation Run Before Trump’s Inauguration By Obama’s Team Eerily Mirrors Current Outbreak
As part of the transition of power, aides from the Obama administration prepped President Donald Trump's advisers on different crises they could face in the upcoming years. One of those was a flu pandemic. Meanwhile, the Trump administration's current response to the coronavirus outbreak shows all the cracks that have been glimpsed over the past few years.
Before Trump’s Inauguration, A Warning: ‘The Worst Influenza Pandemic Since 1918'
Seven days before Donald Trump took office, his aides faced a major test: the rapid, global spread of a dangerous virus in cities like London and Seoul, one serious enough that some countries were imposing travel bans. In a sober briefing, Trump’s incoming team learned that the disease was an emerging pandemic — a strain of novel influenza known as H9N2 — and that health systems were crashing in Asia, overwhelmed by the demand. “Health officials warn that this could become the worst influenza pandemic since 1918,” Trump’s aides were told. Soon, they heard cases were popping up in California and Texas. The briefing was intended to hammer home a new, terrifying reality facing the Trump administration, and the incoming president’s responsibility to protect Americans amid a crisis. (Toosi, Lippman and Diamond, 3/16)
The New York Times:
Inside The Coronavirus Response: A Case Study In The White House Under Trump
Senior aides battling one another for turf, and advisers protecting their own standing. A president who is racked by indecision and quick to blame others and who views events through the lens of how the news media covers them. A pervasive distrust of career government professionals, and disregard for their recommendations. And a powerful son-in-law whom aides fear crossing, but who is among the few people the president trusts. The culture that President Trump has fostered and abided by for more than three years in the White House has shaped his administration’s response to a deadly pandemic that is upending his presidency and the rest of the country, with dramatic changes to how Americans live their daily lives. (Haberman and Weiland, 3/16)
The Washington Post:
VA’s Mission To See Civilian Patients During Crisis Erased From Website Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
The Department of Veterans Affairs serves as a backup health system in times of crisis, but its mission statement for this crucial role was deleted from the agency’s website Friday as many in the country grew concerned that the coronavirus could overload civilian hospitals. VA’s three missions are to serve veterans through care, research and training in its behemoth health system. But in 1982, Congress mandated what has become known as VA’s “fourth mission”: to absorb non-veteran civilian patients in the event that hospitals overflow with patients in an emergency, such as a pandemic like the coronavirus. (Horton, 3/16)