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Dr. Beth Cameron published op-ed in Washington Post on closed pandemic office

3/16/2020 12:00:00 AM
On March 13, 2020, The Washington Post published an op-ed titled "I ran the White House pandemic office. Trump closed it." The article was written by Dr. Beth Cameron, a Scowcroft Senior Fellow, who is currently vice president for global biological policy and programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative. After the Ebola epidemic of 2014, Dr. Cameron led the office for the White House’s National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense. She said, "We were to prepare for and, if possible, prevent the next outbreak from becoming an epidemic or pandemic." They worked with U.S. federal agencies and governments around the world to monitor outbreaks, assess government capacities, and coordinate fact-based responses.

In the article Dr. Cameron criticized the Trump Administration's decision to close the office in 2018. She said, "A White House office would have been able to elevate urgent issues fast, so they didn't linger or devolve to inaction, as with coronavirus testing in the United States." She said Covid-19 was predictable and because of failed U.S. leadership, decision-makers have to "waste time relearning old lessons", putting us all in danger. 

Read the full Washington Post article here.