Press Release

Statement from AFT on Departure of Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer

For Release:


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers, which represents more than 130,000 nurses and healthcare professionals around the country, issued the following statement in response to news that the global health security team led by Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer has been disbanded under a reorganization by national security adviser John Bolton, and that Ziemer will not be replaced:

“It is a public health crisis and a massive blow to our global strategic interests that the United States now has no senior administration official focused solely on global health security. The U.S. is a key leader in fighting Ebola, HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, with the NSC previously providing troops on the ground to help in these world health crises.

“This administration continues to shirk its responsibility when it comes to convening and coordinating the necessary responses to health crises in our country. When resources are limited, preparedness cannot be sacrificed. Ziemer’s departure puts our members and the entire global health community at risk.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.