Document Reveals Pentagon Predicted A Novel Coronavirus Pandemic
A report dated from 2017 and obtained by The Nation reveals that the Pentagon was conscious of the possibility of a pandemic caused by a new coronavirus for at least two decades.
The 103-page document is titled “USNORTHCOM Branch Plan 3560: Pandemic Influenza and Infection Disease Response.” It discusses earlier coronaviruses like MERS and the regularity of coronavirus infections around the world.
The report made predictions about the origins and most likely complications that would occur in the event of a worldwide pandemic outbreak. While this plan is unclassified, the internal Pentagon report alludes to classified information that could present further backing to its opinions.
The document, which The Nation reported as an amendment to a previous pandemic response strategy created by the Defense Department, indicated “the most likely and significant threat” would come from a new respiratory ailment.
The document also predicted that the deficiency of PPE and ventilators would inflict a “significant impact on the availability of the global workforce.”
Predictions for Shortages, Causes, and Outcomes
It contains remarkably accurate anticipation for potential scenarios during an outbreak, including a lack of hospital beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other medical equipment.
The Defense Department also anticipated that there would be a global competition and scarcity for COVID-19 vaccines.
The document describes the circumstances that could accelerate a contagious disease’s transition into a pandemic, many of which were present in the current outbreak, such as unsanitary living situations, congested workplaces, and closeness to international airports.
Additionally, it lays out different situations that could appear around the globe and possibilities for a potential military response.
The report’s findings predicted numerous concerns over hospital beds and medical supplies which elected leaders and health care professionals are presently raising.
The Nation shared a starting segment: “even the most industrialized countries will have insufficient hospital beds, specialized equipment such as mechanical ventilators, and pharmaceuticals readily available to adequately treat their populations during a clinically severe pandemic.”
Nation reporter Ken Klippenstein received the report from a Pentagon administrator who wished to remain unidentified. The Pentagon has not returned Klippenstein’s inquiries for comment about the document.
In an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered, Klippenstein stated, “The intelligence community and the military were well aware of what could, and unfortunately, did happen.”
In an interview with The Nation, Denis Kaufman, the former head of the Infectious Diseases and Countermeasures Division from 2014-2017, emphasized that American intelligence officials have known for years about the threatening nature of coronaviruses. He told Nation reporters that “the Intelligence Community has warned about the threat from highly pathogenic influenza viruses for two decades at least. They have warned about coronaviruses for at least five years.”
Despite President Trump repeatedly claiming that the ongoing crisis “came out of nowhere,” Klippenstein added that the Defense Department was well aware of the likelihood of a pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus for as many as ten years.
Citing data contained within the document, Klippenstein believes that it is “inconceivable that the White House did not receive this.”
- Klippenstein, Ken. “Exclusive: The Military Knew Years Ago That a Coronavirus Was Coming.” The Nation, 4 Apr. 2020, www.thenation.com/article/politics/covid-military-shortage-pandemic/.Slotkin, Jason.
- “Report: Pentagon Knew Of Possible Coronavirus Threat For Years.” NPR, NPR, 5 Apr. 2020, www.npr.org/2020/04/05/827692672/report-pentagon-aware-of-possible-coronavirus-threat-for-years.