Posts Tagged DEFCON

Biologic Readiness Condition – BIOCON

Imagine the following:

After a morning full of conferences and even a meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister, the President closed the door behind him as he headed for his desk. A diet cola, french fries and two hamburgers sat on the desk, thanks to his faithful secretary. He plopped into his chair with a smile and took a sip of his drink. Before he could eat a french fry the blue phone started to beep, slowly at first then louder and faster. Why today, why now, why was the CDC calling on the emergency line? He answered the phone, his smile gone.

“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.

HISTORICAL SUMMARY, JANUARY-JUNE 1962 . Page 41.
1 NOVEMBER 1962, Directorate of Command History Office of Information . Headquarters NORAD/CONAD (declassified)

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.

Readiness
condition
DescriptionReadiness
BIOCON 1Infection spreading in the USShelter at home. Institute financial stabilization measures. Delivery vehicles and drivers to wear PPE.
BIOCON 2Outbreak involves multiple countriesClose borders. Make 300 million test kits and distribute. Notify hospitals to prepare for pandemic cases. Open reserve ICU beds.
BIOCON 3Outbreak spreads over over 50 milesDistribute stockpiled PPE, ventilators and medications as appropriate. Make at least 1 million test kits and distribute to states.
BIOCON 4Outbreak involves over100 peopleObtain DNA sequence. Start vaccine production. Notify all Dept. of Health each State. Start vaccinations if available. Manufacture test kits.
BIOCON 5Limited outbreak in foreign countrySend team to investigate. Stop all travel from that country. Quarantine all travelers who otherwise arrive from region.

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