So if you could blame Bolton?
The Premonition tells the story of a bunch of quirky scientists and doctors, mostly from around the government, who assembled the national pandemic plan under the orders of the Bush DHS.
There's a little bit for anyone (who reads books) in there, particularly a depiction of the Obama swine flu effort as mostly just lucky- it portrays a dysfunctional government and particularly the CDC that wasn't at all interested in doing anything other than their way.
Anyway, Tom Bossert was kind of a rarity- an old Bush DHS hand who was named to the Trump Admin as Senior DHS Advisor. He was the last of that old breed and sort of held that planning and the loose nexus together. There was a little bit of institutional memory retained there.
While the Trump Admin had zeroed out all the surveillance apparatus, a key point appears to be when John Bolton was appointed National Security Advosir in '18. Him being the ultimate bureacratic knife fighter, he immediately got rid of everybody who'd ever pissed him off- including Bossert.
Thus, the last adult in the room was gone.
Re: So if you could blame Bolton?
Best vignette features Dr.Charity Dean when she was chief health officer of Santa Barbara County- she was later CA Health Director.
She has a death from brain TB in an outlying community and orders the local coroner to cunduct an autopsy since if it was also in the lungs it is a public health problem. The guy refused because he was afraid of TB.
So she tells him to do it and she's coming to pick up the sample. She arrives and the guy and 4 Sheriffs' deputies are in hazmat suits outside and there's a body wrapped up on a gurney off to the side.
The guy says, hey, if you want a sample here ya go and gives her a brand new shrub pruner from True Value. So they stare at each other for a minute and then she says, OK, puts on her gloves and mask and goes and clips some ribs and grabs the sample, and leaves.
"send 'em to Gitmo?"
any way you turn it, the Trump admin pandemic response was a tragicomedy of unequaled, epic scale.
Although the more shocking matter is how you can mobilize an army of trolls, TV and radio talkers to obfuscate anything.