Is America Prepared To Handle An Outbreak?
When I asked him about which department has jurisdiction to manage disasters, Troy (who worked in the George W. Bush administration) recalled this troubling memory:
I’m working on this flu plan in the Bush White House in the 2000s. And at one point, we are briefing Andy Card, who was the Chief of Staff, about this. And Fran Townsend, who was the Homeland Security Adviser, is leading the briefing. And she is telling Andy Card about all of these anti-virals we are buying and vaccines and everything. And she is flanked on one side by Mike Chertoff from Department of Homeland Security and on the other side by Mike Leavitt from [Health and Human Services]. And Andy Card interrupts her briefing, and says, “This is all great Fran, but if there is a flu outbreak, who should the president call?” And she looked at him and said, “Mike,”—again, surrounded by Mike Chertoff and Mike Leavitt, just showing the confusion.
I asked which Mike she meant. “They never resolved it,” Troy said. – READ MORE