POLITICO's Pulse Check

Inside HHS: A former official defends crisis response

Episode Summary

A Trump appointee who helped oversee family reunifications, hurricanes and other emergencies sits down with POLITICO after leaving the administration.

Episode Notes

Thousands of migrant families were separated at the border by the Trump administration last year. One of the HHS officials involved in putting them back together: Chris Meekins — a Trump appointee who normally helped oversee emergency preparedness, but was tapped as part of HHS' broader response.

Meekins, who left HHS last week, sat down with POLITICO's Dan Diamond to defend the HHS family reunification effort and discuss the Trump administration's broader missteps at the border (starts at the 1:30 mark), explain how HHS responds to natural disasters (21:00), review the biosecurity threats facing America (26:30) and more.


How HHS got drawn into the family separation crisis.

The Trump administration has been criticized for its response to hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico.

The Strategic National Stockpile was shifted from CDC to HHS last year.

The Trump administration last fall announced a new biodefense strategy.

A U.S. doctor exposed to Ebola was brought to Nebraska last week.