John Bolton’s Bogus Defense of ‘Streamlining’ the Pandemic Office

Bolton Twitter
The national security adviser who downgraded pandemic threat in 2018.

One important step in restoring national safety is identifying demonstrable disinformation from public figures.

Case in point: National Security Adviser John Bolton’s explanation of why he dismantled the National Security Council’s  Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense less than two years ago

Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, writes in Just Security.

After the Ebola outbreak, one of the key lessons was that the White House must be better organized the next time around. This prompted the creation of a new directorate on the NSC, focused on global health security and biodefense – in effect, preparing the homeland against future outbreak threats by emphasizing both U.S. and international preparedness. The directorate formalized the whole-of-government, domestic-and-international focus that Ron Klain had instituted as Ebola czar, and created a hub for expertise and institutional memory. The architect and initial leader of that Directorate, Beth Cameron, recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post criticizing the Trump administration’s historic error of judgement in closing it.

Source: Lessons Ignored: John Bolton’s Bogus Defense of “Streamlining” Away Our Bio-Readiness

Bolton’s defense?

The key lies in the bureaucratic details, says  Konyndyk.

[Bolton] eliminated the Senior Director position entirely, closed the biodefense directorate, and spread the remaining staff across other parts of the NSC. That’s the opposite of streamlining. Instead of giving the issue a distinct institutional presence, expertise, and voice in the policy process, Bolton’s reorganization left it fragmented across other directorates that were focused on other higher priorities.

Bolton’s organizational choices meant the NSC didn’t have a cohesive team able to elevate pandemic readiness expertise directly to senior leaders. Instead, the NSC had director-level subject-matter experts scattered around with limited influence and little ability to reach decision-makers. These people were highly capable and impressive, but their influence was diluted by the new structure.

The Senior Director couldn’t call attention and demand action from the White House staff because there was no Senior Director. Bolton did not want leadership in that position, so he abolished it. He got what he wanted: no leadership.

4 Replies to “John Bolton’s Bogus Defense of ‘Streamlining’ the Pandemic Office”

  1. You might want to write something about Sen. Richard BURR and his move as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee of co-opting greedy DEMOCRATIC Dianne Feinstein by warning them of the impending stock market crash.

    Like I have been saying lately the Supreme Leader, his VP, members of his cabinet and select members of congress have broken the law by acting on information they received because of their positions. In addition some have neglected their responsibilities to those they serve. Neglect severe enough to be criminal.

    Burr has provided proof that he is in no way suitable to be on the Intell Committee by his actions.

  2. In response to Bolton’s tweet.

    Listen ‘shit head’ the reason Americans , sane Americans are angry is because of the total lack of responsibility by the right to quarantine their crazy leader.

    I don’t tweet but bull shit is bull shit and needs to be dealt with appropriately.

    Thanks Jeff.

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