US was more prepared for pandemic than any other country, Johns Hopkins study found

The United States was ranked the best-prepared country in the world to handle a pandemic in late 2019 by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (JHU) -- an assessment seemingly at odds with claims by Democrats that the Trump administration left the country vulnerable to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The Global Health Security Index was was "developed with guidance from an international panel of experts from 13 countries, with research by the Economist Intelligence Unit," The Washington Post reported last year. "More than 100 researchers spent a year collecting and validating publicly available data.”

At the same time, the paper noted that the U.S. score was still not perfect, and that "factors driving down the U.S. score include the risks of social unrest and terrorism, and low public confidence in government."

The White House says the NSC remains involved in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. A senior administration official said earlier this month that the NSC’s global health security directorate was absorbed into another division where similar responsibilities still exist, but under different titles. The work of coordinating policy and making sure that decisions made by Trump’s coronavirus task force are implemented is still the job of the NSC.

Separately, the Biden team has repeatedly argued that the president once referred to coronavirus as a "hoax." That claim has been refuted by numerous fact-checkers, including the Post's, which found that Trump was clearly referring to Democrats' efforts to blame him for the pandemic, not the virus itself.

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