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In The Fifth Risk, Michael Lewis describes how the core US civil service is made up of extremely passionate nerds, people who are very smart about their domain of expertise, and work quietly and tirelessly to see policy that comports with evidence.

boingboing.net/2018/11/27/home

This is what makes them "the reality based community," the term Karl Rove used to disparage those who claimed (correctly) that the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan would be a perpetual, destablizing quagmire.

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The thing is, grifting is incompatible with objective truth. The job of a grifter is to tell you his building is ten stories taller than it actually is, that his inauguration crowd was larger than it actually was, that his infomercial service is actually a "university."

The grifter president is surrounded by a grifter upper echelon, sociopaths whose power and wealth derive from lying like crazy and stealing from people. To put it mildly, these people do not value expertise.

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That explains a lot about the pandemic. Specifically, why therecommendations in the "Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents" (AKA "the pandemic playbook") were not followed.

politico.com/news/2020/03/25/t

This is a 69-page report created by the NSC in 2016. The Obama NSC chief briefed the incoming Trump official on the playbook in 2017, and that official seems to have wiped his ass with it and flushed it.

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It literally explains, step by step, how to administer a crisis like this, from the earliest glimmerings that it might occur, right through a full-blown pandemic. It mobilizes resources, identifies shortages, and coordinates comms and strategy. It is, in other words, a meaningful set of steps that the US government could have taken to head off the virus. We taxpayers paid handsomely to develop it. Now we're paying again because Trump ignored it.

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