Trump eliminated position in 2018 after Obama administration created it in response to Ebola crisis


Washington (March 19, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today announced the introduction of legislation requiring the President to appoint a permanent Pandemic Prevention and Response Coordinator, housed on the National Security Council (NSC). After the Ebola virus emerged as a global health threat in 2016, the Obama administration created the global health and biothreats “czar” position as acknowledgement that tackling global pandemics necessitates a bigger U.S. policy authority and presence within the administration’s security policymaking apparatus. The Trump administration eliminated the position in 2018 and has drastically cut resources put toward global health preparedness.


“Had the Trump administration not eliminated the global health chief position on the NSC in 2018, our response to the coronavirus pandemic would have been swifter and better informed,” said Senator Markey. “Even now, the Trump administration has failed to identify one central authority within the White House whose sole job is directing the response to this pandemic. This coronavirus is not the first, and will not be the last biothreat we face. The outcome will be inevitably better both for this outbreak and the next if we have in place a single qualified individual to help lead our global health efforts at the highest levels of our federal government.”


A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.


On January 27, 2020, Senator Markey called on President Trump to reestablish the position of White House global health security and biothreats directorate within the NSC and immediately appoint a qualified individual to prepare for and respond to the threat posed by the novel coronavirus.