Posted by: maboulette | April 11, 2017

New Administration Unprepared For a Global Pandemic


The Trump administration is failing to fill crucial public health positions across the government, leaving the nation unprepared to face one of its greatest possible threats: a pandemic occurrence of a deadly infectious disease.  This is according to experts in health and national security.


No one knows where or when an outbreak could occur, but health security experts say it is expected. Every president since Ronald Reagan has faced threats from infectious diseases, and the number of outbreaks is on the rise.


Over the past three years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been monitoring more than 300 outbreaks in 160 countries, tracking 37 hazardous pathogens in 2016 alone. Infectious diseases cause about 15% of all deaths in the world.


But after 11 weeks in office, the Trump administration has only filled a very few of the senior positions critical in reacting to an outbreak of any type. There is no permanent director at the CDC or at the U.S. Agency for International Development. At the Department of Health and Human Services, no one has been named to fill sub-Cabinet posts for:

  • Health;
  • Global affairs;
  • Preparedness and Response.

 It’s also unclear whether the National Security Council will undertake the same leadership on this issue as it did under President Barack Obama, according to public health experts.


“We need people in position to help steer the ship,” said Steve Davis, the chief executive of PATH, a Seattle-based international health technology non-profit working with countries to improve their ability to detect disease. “We are actually very concerned.”


Besides leaving key posts empty, the Trump administration has shown little interest in the issue, health and security experts say. The White House has made few public statements about the standing or organizing for outbreaks, and it has yet to build the international relationships that are critical for reacting to global health crises. Trump also has projected sharp cuts to government agencies working to stop deadly outbreaks at their source.


Related content



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: