The Trump administration appears to be creating a "pandemic response" office within the State Department, CNN reported Thursday, citing an unidentified White House official.
The report said the National Security Council hosted an interagency meeting Thursday to devise plans for the new bureaucracy under a position titled coordinator for pandemics, CNN said, quoting "a senior administration official."
The purpose of Thursday's meeting was to specify details and compose a proposal for President Donald Trump to approve. The report also referred to unidentified individuals who criticized the move, complaining the Trump administration disbanded a similar group in 2018 under the auspices of the National Security Council and characterizing the effort as being "on the defensive."
Neither the NSC nor the State Department responded to CNN for comment.
One former official identified who was critical was Lisa Monaco, who served as President Barack Obama's homeland security adviser.
"This move now to set this unit, re-set this unit up, although in a different building, on the one hand is the recognition that you do indeed need a specific identified place to constantly be focusing on pandemic response," Monaco said. "That is good. On the other hand, really what we are seeing here is the risk of repeating mistakes all over again."
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