A 69-page National Security Council handbook on combating pandemics outlined what needed to be done on most fronts in an attempt to curb the spread of the disease. The playbook was designed “so that there is no piecemeal thinking when trying to fight the next public health battle,” said a former official who contributed to the playbook. Trump administration officials said the notice, which was held in 2016, was dated. Meanwhile, ProPublica takes a closer look at the Defense Production Law and the powers it gives the President.
Politico: Trump team failed to follow NSC pandemic manual
The Trump administration, state officials and even hospital workers are now fighting each other for the masks, gloves and other safety gear needed to fight the coronavirus – a rush that the reports say hospitals and doctors, arrived too late and put them in danger. But according to a previously undisclosed White House manual, the government should have launched a federal-wide effort to procure this personal protective equipment at least two months ago. “Is there enough personal protective equipment for healthcare workers providing medical care? The playbook educates its readers, as an early decision officials should make in the face of a potential pandemic. “If YES: What are the triggers for signaling the exhaustion of supplies? Are additional supplies available? If NO: should the national strategic stock distribute PPE to States? »(Diamant and Toosi, 3/25)
ProPublica: Defense production law gives president powers, but not much funding
President Donald Trump is criticized for his reluctance to use the Defense Production Act, a 70-year-old law that empowers the president to order private industry to produce essential equipment and supplies in the event of an emergency. But the law may not be the silver bullet its supporters are hoping for in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic: It comes with a war chest of just $ 228 million, with another billion dollars to go. come assuming the latest rescues law is passed. (Arnsdorf, 25/3)
In other administration news –
NPR: Where has the CDC gone, as a leader in coronavirus policy and communications?
At a time when the nation desperately needs authoritative information on the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s leading agency for tackling infectious disease outbreaks has remained conspicuously silent. “I want to assure Americans that we have a team of public health experts,” President Trump said during Tuesday night’s coronavirus task force briefing – a bit of reassurance that probably wouldn’t have been needed if this briefing had included someone from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Greenfieldboyce, 3/25)
Reuters: Exclusive: US CDC staff slashed China ahead of coronavirus outbreak
The Trump administration has cut staff by more than two-thirds at a key US public health agency operating in China, as part of a larger setback by US-funded health and science experts on the ground before the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters has learned. (Taylor, 3/25)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of coverage of health policies by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.