‘Year of the Plague’: The New Yorker explores America’s continuing tragedy

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

In October, 2019, the first Global Health Security Index appeared, a sober report of a world largely unprepared to deal with a pandemic. “Unfortunately, political will for accelerating health security is caught in a perpetual cycle of panic and neglect,” the authors observed. “No country is fully prepared.” Yet one country stood above all others in terms of readiness: the United States.

During the transition to the Trump Administration, the Obama White House handed off a sixty-nine-page document called the Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

The Trump Administration jettisoned the Obama playbook. In 2019, H.H.S. conducted Crimson Contagion, a simulation examining the government’s ability to contain a pandemic… The Crimson Contagion exercise inspired little confidence that the government was prepared to handle such a crisis. Federal agencies couldn’t tell who was in charge; states grew frustrated in their attempts to secure enough resources…

Related article:  Gene editing: Playing God or repairing a ‘natural system’ that has gone haywire?

Government policies, the report concluded, were inadequate and “often in conflict.” The Public Health Emergency Fund and the Strategic National Stockpile were dangerously depleted; N95 masks and other medical essentials were in short supply, and domestic manufacturing capacity was insufficient. Congress was briefed on the findings but they were never made public. By the time COVID arrived, no meaningful changes had been made to address these shortcomings.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend