Changes At White House NSC, Administration’s Request For Rescission Of Emergency Ebola Funds Amid Latest Ebola Outbreak In DRC Raise Concerns, Questions Among Experts, Policymakers

The Atlantic: Ebola Returns Just as the White House Loses Its Top Biodefense Expert
“[Last] week, three things happened with painfully ironic synchronicity. First, the Democratic Republic of the Congo revealed that it is facing down its ninth Ebola outbreak. Second, President Trump asked Congress to rescind a $252 million pot that had been put aside to deal with Ebola. And third, global health expert Tim Ziemer unexpectedly departed the National Security Council, where he served as senior director for global health security and biodefense…” (Yong, 5/11).

The Hill: Pelosi slams Trump move to claw back Ebola funds amid Congo outbreak
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday slammed a White House request to cut funds from an old account for responding to Ebola after a new deadly outbreak of the disease in Congo. The White House on Tuesday requested that Congress rescind $252 million of the … funds left in an account created to respond to the 2014-2015 outbreak of the deadly virus. The request was included in a broader rescissions package that sought to claw back some $15.4 billion in unobligated funds sitting in old accounts…” (Elis, 5/11).

Vox: Ebola is back — and the top White House official in charge of pandemics is gone
“…On the home front, health experts have long said the U.S. is underprepared for a pandemic. But right now the situation looks even more precarious. … ‘[The departure of Tim Ziemer] at this moment is definitely a cause for concern,’ said Jennifer Kates, director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. ‘At this time, it’s not yet known what the White House’s plan for coordinating such a response will be.’… (Belluz, 5/11).

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