(CNN)As early indications of China’s coronavirus outbreak emerged in late December, the Trump administration notified Congress it would still follow through with its plan to shutter a US Agency for International Development surveillance program tasked with detecting new, potentially dangerous infectious diseases and helping foreign labs stop emerging pandemic threats around the world.The administration ultimately backtracked nearly three months later, granting an emergency six-month extension for the program known as PREDICT on April 1. The extension allowed the US to provide “emergency support to other countries for outbreak response including technical support for early detection” of the virus that causes the disease Covid-19, according to a notice posted by University of California-Davis, one of the project’s implementing partners.But by that time, the coronavirus outbreak had already been declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization and had claimed the lives of more than 4,300 people in the US.SpilloverThe administration planned to launch a successor project for PREDICT sometime in 2020 but did not appear to have an interim plan until that happened.The PREDICT program’s cancellation and the subsequent scramble to secure an emergency extension reflects the Trump administration’s broader pattern of dismantling or downsizing key offices and programs


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