the U.S. government’s doomsday planners and the nation’s classified continuity-of-government plans

A very interesting article in TheAtlantic discussing doomsday planning for the United States notes that:

The Trump administration has hollowed out the very bureaucracy that’s in charge of the planners. The president has cycled through five homeland-security secretaries and five homeland-security advisers (who also serve as national continuity coordinators) in three years, and has dismantled the apparatus that was expressly designed to inform his response and allow the government to function efficiently during emergencies. Through a succession of national security advisers, the NSC staff was dramatically reduced, culminating in John Bolton’s decision to close a dedicated pandemic-response cell inside the NSC’s global-health security and biodefense directorate. Bolton also pushed out a key official who had both the title and institutional knowledge to shape policy on contingency and continuity, Thomas Bossert, who was a senior member of Bush’s national-security staff and one of the few remaining links between the NSC and federal-preparedness officials. 

It’s Time to Listen to the Doomsday Planners – Another pandemic, or a terrorist attack, could cripple an unprepared executive branch

This might go a long way toward explaining why the federal goverment response to COVID-19 was so poor. See also this video on continuity plans:

How the US Government Will Survive Doomsday

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