Last Tuesday, the World Health Organization announced an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At that time, there were: 2 confirmed cases, with 32 more suspected cases. The next day, the WHO announced there had been 18 deaths, as of that time.
Only a few hours before the World Health Organization made its initial declaration of the outbreak, Trump asked Congress to kill emergency funding to fight the disease.
The 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic was the largest ever recorded, with the contagion sweeping swiftly through West Africa. The outbreak was able to have such massive scope due a combination of factors, including weak health infrastructures and an lackluster response in the early stages. This allowed the epidemic to spiral out of control. Then-president Obama responded to the crisis by asking Congress to appropriate about $5.4 billion to fight the epidemic in West Africa. He also asked to hold the remaining funds in reserve in order to help detect and respond to future Ebola outbreaks.
But, as is the case with everything bearing Obama’s signature, Trump had to undo it. This time. he said that he wanted to rescind the remaining $252 million — which was reserved for aid in future Ebola outbreaks — as part of his plan to cut down on “excessive spending.”
The White House announcement framed Trump’s action as putting “American taxpayers first by addressing irresponsible Federal spending.” It can surely be argued that Trump had no way of knowing that later the same day the WHO would announce another Ebola outbreak. But that’s a pretty weak defense because it was never really a matter of whether there would ever be another outbreak, only when and to what extent.
Ron Klain, a lawyer who was Obama’s Ebola czar, had already responded to Trump’s action by saying, “It means that when we have a serious problem in the future—it’s just a question of when—we will have to wait for Congress to act,”
He was very quickly proven absolutely correct.