Clinton and Bush Prepared for Pandemics

Many presidents leave behind new tools, practices and institutions for their successors to use in a crisis. President Harry S. Truman, for example, left his successors the Defense Department, National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Production Act. As President Trump confronts the coronavirus, he benefits from reforms instituted by two of his predecessors, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

In the spring of 1998, Mr. Clinton read a potboiler about a mad scientist who unleashed a bioweapon…

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