Romney, Murphy introduce bill to require Trump to appoint a global health coordinator

Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Chris Murphy have teamed up to introduce a bill that would require President Trump to appoint a global health coordinator.

Romney tweeted:

has exposed gaps in our nation’s capacity to respond to a pandemic. Establishing a health security council and creating a new NSC position to develop and implement global health strategies will better prepare us to address future health threats.

The Hill reports a bipartisan pair of senators introduced legislation on Friday that would require President Trump to appoint a global health coordinator and create an inter-agency council charged with preparing for pandemics.

The bill, from Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), comes after the White House garnered criticism in the midst of the coronavirus for a 2018 decision to disband the National Security Council’s global health unit, a decision former national security adviser John Bolton characterized as a “streamlining.”

“We clearly weren’t prepared in this case, and we cannot waste time in establishing new organizations in the federal government that can identify and prepare for health threats before they become domestic crises,” Murphy said in a statement.

Romney added that the U.S. response to the coronavirus had “exposed some glaring gaps in our nation’s capacity to respond to a pandemic.”

“By establishing a health security council and dedicating a new NSC position to developing global health strategies and coordinating responses, our bill will better prepare us to confront the spread of another infectious disease,” he said.

The bill would require Trump to create a Global Health Security Agenda Interagency Review Council, which would meet at least four times a year and consist of officials from across the federal government, to provide recommendations on and help carry out global health policy.