President Donald Trump defended his huge budget cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during a Wednesday press conference on the federal government's response to the coronavirus.

He said it was easy to bolster the public-health agency and cited his business approach toward running the federal government.

"I'm a businessperson. I don't like having thousands of people around when you don't need them," Trump said. "When we need them, we can get them back very quickly."

The president said some of the experts targeted by the cuts "hadn't been used for many years" and that additional federal money and new medical staffers could be obtained swiftly since "we know all the good people."

Question: are there thousands of doctors, capable of fighting a coronavirus pandemic, who can be gotten back very quickly?

[edit] can the closer please explain why? I would like to be able to bring the question on-topic (IYO)

  • 5
    "Can you get thousands of doctors when needed" (title) -- "we can get them back very quickly" (quote) -- "are there thousands of doctors sitting idle" (body) -- Those are three rather separate questions. Which one is it you're asking? (Personally, I'd daresay the answer to all three is "no", but it would change the angle of the reasoning significantly.)
    – DevSolar
    Feb 28 '20 at 8:39
  • 13
    From that same article: "Don Moynihan, a public management professor at Georgetown University, said in a tweet that "once you have gutted institutional capacity you cannot, in fact, quickly restore it." " So that's at least one actual qualified expert saying no.
    – Shadur
    Feb 28 '20 at 8:45
  • 30
    I have a hard time "sourcing" an answer, because -- as many Trumpisms -- this one is so contrary to common sense that no-one ever bothered to put a counterargument into numbers, let alone conducting a study on it. If you're not employed by the CDC, you seek other employment. If you're employed otherwise, you're not at the beck and call of the CDC, or the government, anymore. Also, cutting funding not only affects people employed, but laboratories, research, organization, everything. You can't ramp up such things at a moment's notice. But good luck finding references for common sense...
    – DevSolar
    Feb 28 '20 at 10:41
  • 2
    @devsolar pretty much puts the nail on the head why I won't be posting an answer -- while I'd almost certainly be correct, I don't think I'd be able to get much better sources than "Some guys on twitter" because it's so blatantly obvious there aren't really any formal studies.
    – Shadur
    Feb 28 '20 at 13:48
  • 5
    Is this question meaningful to ask? What does 'quickly' mean? At what cost? Is hiring inexperi nced replacements sufficient to meet the claim?
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 28 '20 at 15:26

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