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U.S. Government Officials Engage In Pandemic Exercise

Washington Post: This mock pandemic killed 150 million people. Next time it might not be a drill.
“A novel virus, moderately contagious and moderately lethal, has surfaced and is spreading rapidly around the globe. Outbreaks first appear in Frankfurt, Germany, and Caracas, Venezuela. The virus is transmitted person-to-person, primarily by coughing. There are no effective antivirals or vaccines. U.S. troops stationed abroad are infected. Now the first case to reach the United States had been identified on a small college campus in Massachusetts. So began a recent day-long exercise hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. The simulation mixed details of past disasters with fictional elements to force government officials and experts to make the kinds of key decisions they could face in a real pandemic. … The exercise was inspired in part by the troubled response to the Ebola epidemic of 2014, and everyone involved was acutely aware of the very real and ongoing Ebola outbreak spreading in Congo. In the simulation, a bipartisan group of current and former high-ranking U.S. government officials played a team of presidential advisers faced with a host of real-world policy, political, and ethical dilemmas…” (Sun, 5/30).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.