Trump Could Have Prevented Current Coronavirus COV-19 Outbreak But He Knew Better
Guess what? The republican President Donald Trump’s discounting of the US government’s role in the lives of the American peoples plus his distrust of “the deep state” which consists of career competent experts who have served faithfully leaders from both sides of the US political spectrum will cost some Americans their lives. He has direct responsibility for the US government not having been more proactive in dealing with the current health crisis, the coronavirus infection named COV-19.
As per a 3/6/2020 NBC News report by Mike Hixenbaugh, “Scientists were close to a coronavirus vaccine years ago. Then the money dried up.”
“Dr. Peter Hotez says he made the pitch to anyone who would listen. After years of research, his team of scientists in Texas had helped develop a vaccine to protect against a deadly strain of coronavirus. Now they needed money to begin testing it in humans.”
“But this was 2016. More than a decade had passed since the viral disease known as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, had spread through China, killing more than 770 people. That disease, an earlier coronavirus similar to the one now sweeping the globe, was a distant memory by the time Hotez and his team sought funding to test whether their vaccine would work in humans.”
“We tried like heck to see if we could get investors or grants to move this into the clinic,” said Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “But we just could not generate much interest.”
Instead, the SARS vaccine that Hotez’s team created in collaboration with scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is sitting in a freezer, no closer to commercial production than it was four years ago.
“We could have had this ready to go and been testing the vaccine’s efficacy at the start of this new outbreak in China,” said Hotez, who believes the vaccine could provide cross-protection against the new coronavirus, which causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19. “There is a problem with the ecosystem in vaccine development, and we’ve got to fix this.”
“It’s tragic that we won’t have a vaccine ready for this epidemic,” Hotez wrote in prepared remarks. “Practically speaking, we’ll be fighting these outbreaks with one hand tied behind our backs.”
“Public health officials are concerned that the virus, which can lead to respiratory failure brought on by pneumonia, will spread widely in the U.S. and last beyond this year — much like the seasonal flu, but more severe and potentially deadlier.”
“In response, pharmaceutical companies, university researchers and the federal government have been rushing to develop a vaccine.”
“But even under the rosiest of projections, one won’t be ready for more than a year, government officials say.”
“That kind of research — figuring out which vaccine strategies work and which don’t — potentially could have been completed before the new outbreak, said Jason Schwartz, a professor at the Yale School of Public Health who studies vaccine development. He said the global response to the coronavirus exposes broader flaws in the way medical research is funded, which he says tends to be market-driven and reactive, rather than proactive.”
As per the 2/27/2020 Washington Post report by Paige Winfield Cunningham, “The Health 202: President Trump made it harder to fight coronavirus by actions he took two years ago”
(President Trump hasn’t pointed) “to the history that is making his administration’s response to this new outbreak more difficult. Two years ago, the administration disbanded two permanent groups formed by President Barack Obama to respond to the 2014 Ebola outbreak — one within the White House National Security Council and another within the Department of Homeland Security.”
“The idea was that these groups could rapidly get multiple government agencies on the same page in the event of a biological crisis, avoiding the all-too-common problem of each agency operating only within its own silo.”
“Under a May 2018 reorganization by then-national security adviser John Bolton, Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer abruptly stepped down from leading the NSC global health security panel, leaving no senior administration official focused solely on global health security.”
“Weeks earlier, Bolton had also pressured Tom Bossert, who led the DHS panel, to resign along with his team.”
“That’s not all Trump did. He also proposed cutting the parts of the budgets at NSC, DHS, and Health and Human Services designated for fighting global disease. And in early 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dramatically downsized its epidemic prevention activities in 39 out of 49 countries because money was running out.”
The Post’s Josh Dawsey:
Trump says, in response to @JStein_WaPo question, that he isn’t rethinking budget cuts to CDC because it is easy to hire doctors and other staffers when you need them.