John Hopkins Study: U.S. More Prepared For Pandemic Than Any Other Country In The World
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The United States was ranked the best-prepared country in the world to handle a pandemic in late 2019 by the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
This comes as Democrats are falsely trying to claim that the Trump administration left the country vulnerable to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The Global Health Security Index was developed with guidance from an international panel of experts from 13 countries, with research by the Economist Intelligence Unit" from 2018 to 2019, The Washington Post reported last year. "More than 100 researchers spent a year collecting and validating publicly available data.”
At the same time, the paper noted that the U.S. score was still not perfect, and that "factors driving down the U.S. score include the risks of social unrest and terrorism, and low public confidence in government."
President Trump's campaign has argued in recent days that misinformation may be one of the leading causes of that lack of confidence. For example, Trump's team has pointed to claims by presidential contender Joe Biden that "no one on the National Security Council staff was put in charge" of pandemic preparedness, based on a report that in May 2018, then-National Security Adviser John Bolton eliminated the NSC’s Office of Global Health Security and Biodefense in a reorganization effort.
Rear Adm. R. Timothy Ziemer reportedly was ousted as senior director, and no replacement was named. But, FactCheck.org has determined that the matter amounted to a reorganization, and that “some team members [of the NSC pandemic office] were shifted to other groups, and others took over some of [the top official’s] duties.”
The White House says the NSC remains involved in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. A senior administration official said earlier this month that the NSC’s global health security directorate was absorbed into another division where similar responsibilities still exist, but under different titles. The work of coordinating policy and making sure that decisions made by Trump’s coronavirus task force are implemented is still the job of the NSC.
Biden's team has also falsely claimed on numerous occasions that Trump once referred to coronavirus as a "hoax."
That claim has been refuted by numerous fact-checkers, including the Post's, which found that Trump was clearly referring to Democrats' efforts to blame him for the pandemic, not the virus itself.
Additionally, numerous Democrats, including Biden, have falsely claimed that the president cut the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget.
The Associated Press has noted that those claims are completely false.
Fox News notes that these government agencies have actually received an increase in funding since Trump has been in office.
Trump’s budgets have proposed cuts to public health, only to be overruled by Congress, where there’s strong bipartisan support for agencies such as the CDC and NIH. Instead, financing has increased. Indeed, the money that government disease detectives first tapped to fight the latest outbreak was a congressional fund created for health emergencies.
Some public health experts say a bigger concern than White House budgets is the steady erosion of a CDC grant program for state and local public health emergency preparedness — the front lines in detecting and battling new disease. But that decline was set in motion by a congressional budget measure that predates Trump.
“The CDC’s response has been excellent, as it has been in the past,” said John Auerbach, president of the nonpartisan Trust for America’s Health, which works with government at all levels to improve the nation’s response to high-risk health crises. "Some Democrats have charged that Trump decimated the nation’s public health leadership, but Auerbach said CDC’s top scientific ranks have remained stable during the past three years."