To Be Forewarned Is To Be Forearmed — Pentagon Assembles Virus Crisis Team

In the wake of the global Corona Virus pandemic, a new “shadow” crisis management team has been assembled to work with the Pentagon’s Joint Staff at its facility in Suffolk, Va. This is part of DOD’s planning efforts in the Pentagon and elsewhere, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Daniel O’Donohue said last week in an interview with defense reporters.

“We’re learning from them, as militaries go through the same crisis,” Lt. Gen. Donahue said. “This crisis, as tragic as it so profoundly is, is exercising us in ways that are relevant, to include cross-learning across allies and partners.”

One lesson learned from the pandemic is that speed and trust are necessary for citizens to take measures to protect themselves. Americans questioned the current models of the pandemic, but self-quarantined, as per the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.

Another lesson learned is that during a global crisis, people need access to broadband to access the internet. Due to sheltering-in-place orders from state governments, Americans who were sick were told not to go to a hospital or clinic in order to slow the spread of the virus. They were urged to telephone first.

When workers’ jobs were lost during a lock down, these patients are still in need of access to tele-medicine through video conferencing. Students whose schools have been shuttered by shelter-in-place orders are still in need of digital access to online learning tools.

Medical surge capacity is a challenge that was overcome by our military troops who built entire facilities within days to accommodate the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. Before the flattening of the curve, medical personnel worked tirelessly around the clock with personal protective equipment (PPE) in short supply to stem the spread of the virus.

“We’re learning as rapidly as we can in the application of this fight, but also any future one,” Lt. Gen. Donahue added.

The nature of the pandemic is that it is in different stages in different parts of the world. As the United States has been able to learn from the Italian military, other nations will be able to learn from the United States, he notes.

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