UCI News

“We were sounding the alarms”: the doctor in Congress who tried to warn Trump about a coming pandemic

NewSatesman, May 19, 2020

May 19, 2020

“We were sounding the alarms”: the doctor in Congress who tried to warn Trump about a coming pandemic

[UCI Alumnus] Ami Bera, Congressman and former chief medical officer who in 2018 opposed White House plans to cancel pandemic funding and disband the preparedness office said …. “Because one of the lessons we learned in 2014 with Ebola … you needed one person whose sole responsibility was to work across the interagency process,” he says. Had the pandemic preparedness infrastructure not been dismantled, “We would have had someone paying attention … You would have had someone early on in 2020 when Wuhan was starting to shut down … You would have had someone who understood this virus is coming to the United States”. And maybe you — maybe we — would have been more prepared with diagnostic test prep. But “none of that existed”. “That’s why we were sounding the alarms. We knew we would see additional viral outbreaks.”