President Trump has been under fire from liberals and the media for dissolving the White House pandemic office in 2018. On Friday, the Washington Post ran an opinion piece by Elizabeth Cameron, who ran the office under President Obama, explaining that “the federal government’s slow response to the coronavirus isn’t a surprise” because of it.
Elizabeth Cameron ran the WH pandemic office under Pres Obama. Pres Trump closed it in 2018. Cameron writes in new op-ed, "When this new coronavirus emerged, there was no clear White House-led structure to oversee our response, and we lost valuable time."https://t.co/1vcgcxqQz1
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 13, 2020
Just a reminder Trump eliminated the office of pandemic response entirely. So no one in the White House has a pandemic resume.
But don’t worry. Mike Pence is filling in.
— Adam McKay (@GhostPanther) March 12, 2020
Trump has been accused of all sorts of things — even racism:
This bigot continually disrespects Black women.
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) March 13, 2020
On Monday, however, the Post ran another “opinion” piece, this one by Tim Morrison, former senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the National Security Council, who said the claim that Trump “dissolved” the office is just plain wrong.
Opinion: No, the White House didn’t "dissolve" its pandemic response office. https://t.co/mLAhhOJq6v
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 16, 2020
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. 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.
Now, I’m not naive. This is Washington. It’s an election year. Officials out of power want back into power after November. But the middle of a worldwide health emergency is not the time to be making tendentious accusations.
One such move at the NSC was to create the counterproliferation and biodefense directorate, 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.
That’s a pretty big correction.
Author is @TimMorrison, former senior NSC official who was one of the most credible witnesses in the impeachment trial –> "No, the White House didn’t ‘dissolve’ its pandemic response office. I was there." https://t.co/v3LOWeBrRN
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) March 16, 2020
Here’s John Bolton himself:
Reporting that alleges the Trump Administration dissolved NSC offices related to our biodefense are both false and misleading. Listen to those who ran the effort. This is a must-read for everyone who values truth over politics in a time of crisis. https://t.co/2AAsJMqrm0
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) March 16, 2020
Tim Morrison, former top NSC official, writes, 'No, the White House didn’t ‘dissolve’ its pandemic response office.' WH did shrink bloated NSC. Did reorganize. Did consolidate pandemic response, with others, into new office. Did not eliminate function. https://t.co/6f01Wz3CQv
— Byron York (@ByronYork) March 16, 2020
Another myth debunked. From the article: “The reduction of force in the NSC has continued since I departed the White House. But it has left the biodefense staff unaffected…” https://t.co/8uQj3pcPn4
— Brit Hume (@brithume) March 16, 2020
Direct, factual refutation of claim that the President disbanded his pandemic response team by the NSC official who led the biodefense mission.
The falsehood was widely reported and even stated as a fact by an NBC reporter in a question to the President. https://t.co/qTwfTfD0Mf
— John Noonan (@noonanjo) March 16, 2020
As I told you on day one (based on experience alone): No, the White House didn’t ‘dissolve’ its pandemic response office. I was there. – The Washington Post https://t.co/9DSuJbU8Cy
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) March 16, 2020
Kudos to @washingtonpost for publishing this important correction to their reporting. Know that the public has raised its standard for you because @amazon is likely to double in size from the panic. #coronavirus https://t.co/5vpnwrNBFG
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) March 16, 2020
We checked and there’s nothing but hate in the thousands of responses to Bolton’s tweet about the correction: “Eat s**t and kill yourself” is pretty typical of the comment section.
Thank you @brithume. You're one of a small handful of journalists I still trust to be fair and objective. We need people like you in a crisis like this, especially when so much disinformation is being spread by "journalists" with an agenda.
— Jeff Morris (@JMoForFreedom) March 16, 2020
Don't worry, we will continue to hear it as gospel truth until COVID19 is over and done with.
— ⭐️⭐️⭐️Veterans Support President Trump ?? (@HeWillBeWithUs) March 16, 2020
I wish this first-hand rebuttal had come out sooner.
— Tessie Crowley (@TessieCrowley) March 16, 2020
— Don Redman (@DonRedman5) March 16, 2020
But Josh Lyman of The West Wing tweeted it as fact. And he’s a celebrity, so he oughtta know.
— Johnny (@johnnynats) March 16, 2020
It says Opinion piece, but it is not. This is a fact.
— Richard West ? ⭐⭐⭐ (@westrich54) March 16, 2020
It is pretty sad that they relegated this refutation to the “Opinion” section. Is it just an opinion or is it a fact? The Washington Post will just let you decide rather than investigate and report back.
Shame on the media for squandering its credibility. It is times like these that real journalism and impeccable credibility could help save lives and heal a nation.
— Scott W. Graves (@ScottWGraves) March 16, 2020
Not myth Brit. You're being too kind. It was a lie. The media lies every single day. ?
— Tony – Text TRUMP at 88022 (@teeisme4) March 16, 2020
Myth? Or weaponized propaganda?
— Tony Huneycutt (@tonyhuneyc) March 16, 2020
This level of misinformation should be criminal especially during an emergency.
— Censored in the USA (@OCBizarro) March 16, 2020
Of course, now that the Washington Post has put out two different versions of events, people are doing nothing but fighting over which version is true, which is just the kind of thing we don’t need from the media during this crisis.
‘Our media is broken’: NYT firefighters team up to feed bogus narrative deliberately mischaracterizing Donald Trump’s COVID19 response https://t.co/9P81iZ3gY2
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) March 16, 2020