Tom Bossert: We’re Implementing Now the Strategy That Came From Bush’s Tasking in 2004
TOM BOSSERT: Well, I’m not sure we were blindsided. You know, when President Bush read that book on the great 1918 flu, he tasked us to do things more than just writing strategies. We were putting in place budgets. And, in fact, the Strategic National Stockpile that we’re drawing from today was populated with these PPE and things that we needed for not just terrorist attacks, which had been the focus of the stockpile previously, but for naturally occurring outbreaks like this.
Now, we have gone through fits and starts through his presidency and President Obama’s and President Trump’s over this competition for annual funding that we go through between the daily pressing needs and then these low-probability, but high-consequence events.
But there’s a lot of trench work that’s been done here and a lot of goods and supplies, planning and thinking that has gone into this. In fact, what we’re implementing now is the strategy that came out of the president’s tasking there from that video. And that social distancing work was published in 2007.