Being somebody that was born on the last little bit of the boomer cohort I was treated growing up to rather mixed messages. The first was that the administrative state was competent to run the big things, so we didn’t have to worry about little things that had plagued people in the past, like economic meltdowns or plagues. The experts would be on top of things and handle them. What we were never told was that the reality was more like this:
Love or hate a president, ultimately the buck stops at desk. Unfortunately the Administrative State seems to have asserted that power to itself and then held itself unaccountable. The consequences will be measured in lost lives and a trashed economy. Consider this from Front Page magazine.
The best example of this was the decision to fly back infected American passengers from the Diamond Princess. This fateful decision helped spread the virus inside the United States.
President Trump had been told that nobody with the coronavirus would be flown to America.
The State Department decided to do it anyway without telling him and only made the announcement shortly after the planes landed in the United States.
According to the Washington Post, as unfriendly an outlet to the administration as there is, “Trump has since had several calls with top White House officials to say he should have been told, that it should have been his decision and that he did not agree with the decision that was made.”
Who in the State Department actually made the decision? That’s a very good question.
According to a State Department briefing, the missions were carried out by the Directorate of Operational Medicine within the Bureau of Medical Services. You might think that sounds like it would be part of HHS or NIH, but the Bureau of Medical Services is actually an arm of the State Department.
The Directorate of Operational Medicine is a part of the Bureau assigned to deal with crisis response with a $250 million portfolio and a lot of employees that almost no one outside D.C. ever heard of. At least unless you remember an event at which Barack Obama honored Dr. William Walters, the head of the Directorate, for evacuating Ebola patients to the United States.
“Now, remember, the decision to move Kent back to the United States was controversial. Some worried about bringing the disease to our shores. But what folks like William knew was that we had to make the decisions based not on fear, but on science,” Obama said.
By “some”, Obama meant, among others, Trump, who had been a strong critic of the move.
Despite Obama’s end-zone dance, the State Department had badly botched the Ebola evacuations.
Under Bush, the CDC had prepped an evacuation aircraft for flying out contagious Americans. The Obama administration shelved the gear because of the cost, and then failed to make use of it. The evacuation process led to the same infighting between the State Department and the CDC as now.
Dr. William Walters is still on duty. In 2017, Walters was boasting of prepping more Ebola evacuations even over President Trump’s opposition to the practice. And he was once again at the wheel now.
“The question was simply this: Are these evacuees?” Walters explained the decision to evacuate coronavirus patients to the United States. “And do we follow our protocol? And the answer to that was yes on both accounts.”
Consulting President Trump was not part of the protocol even on a major national security issue.
In a Congressional briefing, Walters boasted that, “the Department executed the largest non-military evacuation of U.S. citizens in its history. The safe and efficient evacuation of 1,174 people from Wuhan, China and people onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan is a testament to the agility, proficiency, and dedication of our workforce to accomplishing our core mission – advancing the interests of the American people.”
And the triumph of the administrative state and its bureaucratic protocols over the President.
At a State Department briefing, Walters stated that, “The chief of mission, right, through the U.S. embassy, is ultimately the head of all executive branch activities.”
That is the problem. Right there.
Walters got his job in 2011. He’s a relic of the Obama era. That doesn’t mean that his politics are those of his former boss. But this is not about him. It’s about the reality that the White House doesn’t make many of the most vital decisions and doesn’t even know that they’re being made until it’s too late.
The President was not even told? Frankly, that was inexcusable. This was a major nation security issue and even kids the age of that video probably know that containment in the early stage of a pandemic is absolutely crucial. Yet that Doctor Walters, didn’t seem to think that was important or that quarantine protocols were necessary. An “expert” failed, or didn’t care that thousands would probably die. If he was new to his job, that would be one thing, but apparently he had been at it several times already.
In case after case, the deep state has demonstrated its utter inability to do it’s job. The current crisis may seem to Democrats to be the opportunity to return themselves and their deep state associates to the levers of power. But the reality if that they are children on a raft, playing with matches in a tank full of gasoline. Unfortunately rest of us are in the same tank.