If there is one thing that the American public has become accustomed to with the Trump administration, it’s to never get too comfortable with any sitting official or employee that undertakes a job at the White House. With President Trump’s turnover rate setting new record highs for the number of people that have been circulated in and out of the administration, resignations or firings have become something commonplace and, to some extent, expected. Whether they resign due to their unwillingness to sacrifice their integrity for the current administration, or if the president believes that the person is not entirely on board with his divisive agenda, it is clear that retaining White House officials is something Trump has had difficulty with.
However, earlier this week, an unexpected move was made by Trump’s new national security adviser, John Bolton, which has left the country and American public in a potentially vulnerable place as a result. According to an article published by the Washington Post:
‘The top White House official responsible for leading the U.S. response in the event of a deadly pandemic has left the administration, and the global health security team he oversaw has been disbanded under a reorganization by national security adviser John Bolton.
The abrupt departure of Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer from the National Security Council means no senior administration official is now focused solely on global health security. Ziemer’s departure, along with the breakup of his team, comes at a time when many experts say the country is already unprepared for the increasing risks of a pandemic or bioterrorism attack.’
[BREAKING: Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, the top White House official overseeing the US response to a deadly pandemic, has abruptly left the Trump administration and will not be replaced after his entire global health team was disbanded by John Bolton.]
— ArsonCrafts (@visionsurreal) May 10, 2018
Despite dismantling a crucial part of the country’s national health security response, if and when such protection is needed, the timing of it all has expressed concern among experts. Not only was Tuesday the last day for Ziemer, it also just so happened to coincide with the declaration of a new Ebola outbreak in the Congo.
2 cases of Ebola were confirmed this week in Africa ~ Timothy Ziemer, who would lead the U.S. response if a deadly pandemic broke out, has left the administration & John Bolton dissolved the global health security team that Ziemer oversaw. https://t.co/Q8CoI9OpvH
— ??♀️??♀️ kiki ??♀️??♀️ (@heyjdey) May 10, 2018
Many believe that the move by Bolton is his way of setting into motion his previously proposed plans to streamline the NSC, which he announced before taking the new position. As a result, the members of Ziemer’s team have been distributed into other areas of the NSC, completely unrelated to major health pandemics. Two of the former team were assigned roles in a department that focuses on weapons of mass destruction, while a third merged with a separate unit that is in charge of the role of international organizations.
"Timothy Ziemer [exited] as part of a reorganization under national security adviser John Bolton…The personnel changes, which Morrison and others characterize as a downgrading of global health security, are part of Bolton’s previously announced plans to streamline the NSC." https://t.co/z6QZd5Pa1f
— Kala ? (@kalasaurus) May 10, 2018
Although NSC spokesman, Robert Palladino, stated Wednesday that commitments to global health security issues remain priorities, many are writing this off as just meaningless rhetoric coming yet again from the Trump administration.
Ziemer’s departure comes on the heels of a list of spending cuts released by the administration, in which one of the targets involves an unused amount of $252 million in funding to West Africa, which was provided to aid in the widespread outbreak of Ebola in 2014 and 2015. Despite the fact that this money was directly allocated to ensure that such crises could be dealt with, the Trump administration fails to realize the far-reaching impact that potential pandemics can have on the global community, especially when not tackled in a cooperative manner.
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