NSC Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense Dissolved
In or around May 2018, the White House dissolved the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense. Established in 2014, the Directorate was responsible for monitoring global health risks, including disease outbreaks, and coordinating the federal government's response thereto. It was dissolved as part of a broader reorganization of the NSC, which was oversee by then National Security Advisor John Bolton. As part of the reorganization, Directorate staff were reassigned to other NSC units, including one focused on weapons of mass destruction, and another responsible for international organizations. The Directorate's senior director, Rear Adm. R. Timothy Ziemer, was reportedly "pushed out" and left the NSC. A spokesperson for the NSC told reporters that the Trump administration "remains committed to global health, global health security and biodefense, and will continue to address it." However, critics fear that dissolution of the Directorate could hamper the federal government's response to future health crises, with one former government official describing the developments as a "really concerning rollback of progress on U.S. health security preparedness."
In early 2020, public health experts criticized the Trump administration's decision to dissolve the Directorate, claiming that it may have hampered the U.S.' ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.