Imagine the following:
“Sir, this is director Smith, I must inform you we have initiated BIOCON 4. Please confirm.”
The President wiped beads of sweat from his brow. “I confirm BIOCON 4. What is going on?”
Smith stuttered slightly. “Sir, we have reports of numerous virus infections in Laos, at over one hundred dead. Our team will be parachuting to the site as soon as the supersonic transport arrives on scene, probably in a couple of hours.”
The scenario sounds like science fiction — is that because a rapid response is not possible? Would the military fail to respond to DEFCON 1? Unlikely.
In 1962, three years after Alaska became a state, NORAD issued details of the plan to respond to a nuclear missile attack. They were very serious and ready. Included on page 41 of the report was a plan for a biologic warning system – not much happened.
In 2005 President George W. Bush became concerned about viral pandemics, particularly Influenza. His administration issued a call to be prepared — not much happened.
Around 1960 the US military developed the DEFCON (defense readiness condition) strategy to inform the military and the nation about an impending attack.
In the 2010’s several organizations developed bio-threat plans similar to DEFCON, but none at high levels in the government.
>> BIOCON <<
The DEFCON system appears to have survived where biologic emergency plans have failed. It is logical to have a similar system for pandemics or bio-terrorism. Below is such a readiness scheme.
|BIOCON 1||Infection spreading in the US||Shelter at home. Institute financial stabilization measures. Delivery vehicles and drivers to wear PPE.|
|BIOCON 2||Outbreak involves multiple countries||Close borders. Make 300 million test kits and distribute. Notify hospitals to prepare for pandemic cases. Open reserve ICU beds.|
|BIOCON 3||Outbreak spreads over over 50 miles||Distribute stockpiled PPE, ventilators and medications as appropriate. Make at least 1 million test kits and distribute to states.|
|BIOCON 4||Outbreak involves over100 people||Obtain DNA sequence. Start vaccine production. Notify all Dept. of Health each State. Start vaccinations if available. Manufacture test kits.|
|BIOCON 5||Limited outbreak in foreign country||Send team to investigate. Stop all travel from that country. Quarantine all travelers who otherwise arrive from region.|