One sad aspect of this approaching pandemic is that during the past three years theTrump administration gutted the US government agencies that had been set up to detect such outbreaks early and develop plans to respond to them. In particular:
- The CDC had a unit that was working with 49 countries around the world, including China, to help them detect disease outbreaks and contain them before they could reach the US. However, 80% of the funding for this unit ran out in 2018, and it was not renewed by the Trump administration. They had to scale back o working with only 10 countries. Most of the members of this unit were laid off or reassigned, so their expertise was lost.
- The entire global-health-security unit of the National Security Council was shut down, and the members of the unit lost their jobs. This unit was charged with developing plans to combat outbreaks such as the one we are now facing, and coordinate the response to them. Again, the planning and the expertise of these employees was lost.
- The US government's $30 million Complex Crises Fund was eliminated.
- National health spending was reduced by $15 billion.
Trump had to pay for his huge tax breaks for big business and the very wealthy some way.
For more information, see https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-cuts-programs-responsible-for-fighting-coronavirus-2020-2?op=1