Monthly Archives: February 2020

US military prepping for coronavirus pandemic

U.S. Northern Command is executing plans to prepare for a potential pandemic of the novel coronavirus, now called COVID19, according to Navy and Marine Corps service-wide messages issued this week.

An executive order issued by the Joint Staff and approved by Defense Secretary Mark Esper this month directed Northern Command and geographic combatant commanders to initiate pandemic plans, which include ordering commanders to prepare for widespread outbreaks and confining service members with a history of travel to China.

The Navy and Marine Corps messages, issued, reference an executive order directing U.S. Northern Command to implement the Department of Defense Global Campaign plan for Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Diseases 3551-13.

The document serves as the Pentagon’s blueprint for planning and preparing for widespread dispersion of influenza and previously unknown diseases.

U.S. Northern Command said Wednesday it was directed the Joint Staff Feb. 1 to commence “prudent planning” in their assigned role synchronizing the department’s plans for pandemic flu and disease.

But in no way “does the planning indicate a greater likelihood of an event developing. As military professionals, planning for a range of contingencies is something we owe the American people,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Mike Hatfield said.

“We coordinate with other combatant commands to assess potential impacts in the event of a pandemic and we ensure the U.S. military is poised to respond as required,” Hatfield said in a statement. “The military profession fosters a culture of planning, and the fact that we are coordinating planning efforts across the geographical combatant commands is consistent with how we prepare to respond, if directed.”

According to the Marine Corps message MARADMIN 082/20, commanders are to review their disease containment plans and take “preparatory and precautionary actions” to protect service members, installations and ships.

This includes ensuring that the plans contain procedures for “response, isolation, quarantine, restriction of movement and community based intervention” as well as developing measures to contain and treat those possibly exposed.

U.S. Marshal Service and local law enforcement agencies provided security for the federal quarantine ordered at March Air Reserve Base by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Jan. 31. (David Sherman)

First group of US coronavirus evacuees from China leaving quarantine after 2 weeks

The Marine Corps’ mission, according to the message, is to “prepare for potential outbreaks of [COVID19].” The service must “mitigate, respond, and recover from the effects in order to maintain force readiness.”

COVID19, the flu-like virus that originated in Wuhan, China, is now responsible for killing more than 1,100 people and sickening at least 45,000. While the rate of new cases has fallen in the past several days in Wuhan and Hubei province, the death toll continues to climb, topping more than 100 in a single day in China.

The number of cases in the U.S. was at 15.

DoD 3551-13 calls for preparing for a pandemic and ensuring open lines of communication in the community, diseases surveillance and detection, response and containment.

According to the service messages, military commanders have been asked to confine any service member who has been to China since Feb. 2 to their residences or, if they live in an open barracks or share a bathroom with others, restrict them to a temporary lodging facility for 14 days.

The restricted service members will be assessed daily for fever by medical personnel by phone or in person and wear protective gear if they personally conduct the medical checks, according to the messages. Should they display symptoms, they must seek medical attention, but call their military treatment facility first to inform them of their travel.

The Marine Corps message advises civilian employees and contractors, as well as any family members returning from China, to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to detect the virus and prevent its spread, which include voluntarily remaining at home, limiting close contact with people and animals, self-monitoring and seeking medical care if symptoms develop.

The Navy has included visits to Hong Kong and Macau as part of its directive and gives commanders the flexibility to decide whether they need to confine a service member who has had close contact with a person who has traveled to the region.

The Marine Corps also has told commanders to work with military treatment facilities on developing and executing any response and stay up-to-date on CDC guidance regarding the virus.

The Army issued a service-wide message Jan. 31 on the coronavirus advising its members on the illness’s symptoms and instructing them on reducing their risk of catching the infection. The message was issued the same day the Pentagon released an advisory about how service members can reduce the risk of catching the disease.

It does not publicly release its service-wide messages and has not issued any since the executive order.

The Air Force does not publicly disclose its service-wide messages.

Since the outbreak began in late December, individual commands, especially those in Asia, have enforced confinement of service members with a travel history to China. Earlier this month, U.S. Forces Korea began confining troops who had traveled to China for 14 days.

Also earlier this month, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command restricted all Defense Department travel to mainland China and recalled all travelers to the country home.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said Monday that the likelihood of more cases being diagnosed in the U.S. of COVID19 is high, but added that the chance of contracting the disease outside China remains low.

She said the biggest infectious disease threat to the American public this year remains the influenza virus, which has sickened more than 22 million and killed at least 12,000.

Precautions against the coronavirus, which include hand-washing, staying home if ill and sneezing or coughing into a tissue or sleeve, also cut down on flu transmission.

“We are taking all appropriate precautionary measures to prevent any potential spread of the virus,” U.S. Forces Korea commander Army Gen. Robert Abrams Feb. 2. “Key for everyone is to follow standard hygiene protocols, and if not feeling well — get screened ASAP!”


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


via:  militarytimes

Coronavirus may have originated in lab linked to China’s biowarfare program

The deadly animal-borne coronavirus spreading globally may have originated in a laboratory in the city of Wuhan linked to China’s covert biological weapons program, said an Israeli biological warfare analyst.

Radio Free Asia last week rebroadcast a Wuhan television report from 2015 showing China’s most advanced virus research laboratory, known the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The laboratory is the only declared site in China capable of working with deadly viruses.

Dany Shoham, a former Israeli military intelligence officer who has studied Chinese biological warfare, said the institute is linked to Beijing’s covert bio-weapons program.

“Certain laboratories in the institute have probably been engaged, in terms of research and development, in Chinese [biological weapons], at least collaterally, yet not as a principal facility of the Chinese BW alignment,” Mr. Shoham told The Washington Times.

Work on biological weapons is conducted as part of dual civilian-military research and is “definitely covert,” he said in an email.

Mr. Shoham holds a doctorate in medical microbiology. From 1970 to 1991, he was a senior analyst with Israeli military intelligence for biological and chemical warfare in the Middle East and worldwide. He held the rank of lieutenant colonel.

China has denied having any offensive biological weapons, but a State Department report last year revealed suspicions of covert biological warfare work.

A Chinese Embassy spokesman did not return an email seeking comment.

Chinese authorities said they do not know the origin of the coronavirus, which has killed hundreds and infected many thousands more.

Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told state-controlled media that initial signs indicated the virus originated from wild animals sold at a seafood market in Wuhan.

One ominous sign, said a U.S. official, is that false rumors circulating on the Chinese internet claim the virus is part of a U.S. conspiracy to spread germ weapons. That could indicate China is preparing propaganda outlets to counter any charges that the new coronavirus escaped from one of Wuhan’s civilian or defense research laboratories.

The World Health Organization is calling the microbe novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV. At a meeting Thursday in Geneva, the organization stopped short of declaring a public health emergency of international concern.

China has deployed military forces to Wuhan to halt all travel out of the city of 11 million people in an effort to contain the outbreak of the virus, which causes pneumonialike symptoms.

The Wuhan institute has studied coronaviruses including the strain that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), H5N1 influenza virus, Japanese encephalitis and dengue. Researchers at the institute also have studied the germ that causes anthrax, a biological agent once developed in Russia.

“Coronaviruses [particularly SARS] have been studied in the institute and are probably held therein,” Mr. Shoham said. “SARS is included within the Chinese BW program, at large, and is dealt with in several pertinent facilities.”

It is not known whether the institute’s coronaviruses are specifically included in China’s biological weapons program but it is possible, he said.

Asked whether the new coronavirus may have leaked, Mr. Shoham said: “In principle, outward virus infiltration might take place either as leakage or as an indoor unnoticed infection of a person that normally went out of the concerned facility. This could have been the case with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but so far there isn’t evidence or indication for such incident.”

After researchers sequence the genome of the new coronavirus, they might be able to determine or suggest its origin or source.

Biological weapons convention

Mr. Shoham, now with the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University in Israel, said the virology institute is the only declared site in China known as P4 for pathogen level 4. That status indicates the institute uses the strictest safety standards to prevent the spread of the most dangerous and exotic microbes being studied.

The former Israeli military intelligence doctor also said suspicions were raised about the Wuhan Institute of Virology when a group of Chinese virologists working in Canada improperly sent to China samples of what he described as some of the deadliest viruses on earth, including the Ebola virus.

In a July article in the journal Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, Mr. Shoham said the Wuhan institute was one of four Chinese laboratories engaged in some aspects of biological weapons development.

He said the secure Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory at the institute was engaged in research on the Ebola, Nipah and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever viruses.

The Wuhan virology institute is under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, but certain laboratories within it “have linkage with the PLA or BW-related elements within the Chinese defense establishment,” he said.

In 1993, China declared a second facility, the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, as one of eight biological warfare research facilities covered by the Biological Weapons Convention, which China joined in 1985.

The Wuhan Institute of Biological Products is a civilian facility but is linked to the Chinese defense establishment. Mr. Shoham said it is thought to be involved in the Chinese Biological Weapons Convention program. China’s vaccine against SARS is probably produced there.

“This means the SARS virus is held and propagated there, but it is not a new coronavirus unless the wild type has been modified, which is not known and cannot be speculated at the moment,” he said.

The annual State Department report on arms treaty compliance stated last year that China engaged in activities that could support biological warfare.

“Information indicates that the People’s Republic of China engaged during the reporting period in biological activities with potential dual-use applications, which raises concerns regarding its compliance with the BWC,” said the report, adding that the United States suspects China failed to eliminate its biological warfare program as required by the treaty.

“The United States has compliance concerns with respect to Chinese military medical institutions’ toxin research and development because of the potential dual-use applications and their potential as a biological threat,” the report said.

The biosafety lab is about 20 miles from the Hunan Seafood Market, which reports from China say may have been the origin point of the virus.

Rutgers University microbiologist Richard Ebright told London’s Daily Mail that “at this point there’s no reason to harbor suspicions” that the lab may be linked to the virus outbreak.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.



via:  washingtontimes,

Pentagon to provide housing support to HHS for evacuees over coronavirus concerns

Defense officials say all the care, transport and security will come from HHS.

The Defense Department on Saturday approved housing support for up to 1,000 people should they need to be quarantined upon return from their overseas travel due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a statement.

Officials from the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) requested DOD to provide several facilities capable of housing at least 250 people in individual rooms through the end of the month.

“DOD personnel will not be directly in contact with the evacuees and evacuees will not have access to any base location other than their assigned housing,” the statement said. “In accordance with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines, all evacuees will be monitored for a period of 14 days.”

As has been the case at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California — where the first planeload of evacuees were taken — the military will only provide housing support.

All care, transport and security will come directly from HHS, Jonathan Rath Hoffman, Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s assistant for public affairs, wrote on Twitter.

He added that the help will not negatively impact readiness or critical operations.

image

“Should routine monitoring of the evacuees identify ill individuals, HHS has procedures in place to transport them to a local civilian hospital,” the DOD statement said.

The four military installations that may be utilized by HHS are:

  • Centennial Regional Training Institute (168th regiment) in Fort Carson, Colorado
  • Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield, California
  • Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas
  • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California

    “The department’s primary responsibility is the safety of our force, our families and our base communities,” Hoffman wrote.

image

This also when a Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan quarantined after passenger diagnosed with coronaviru with over 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew members on board.

 

Even still, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 10,000 to 25,000 people died of flu in the US from October 1, 2019 through January 25.

 

‘Coronavirus’ Threat? Yet 15 MILLION people are now INFECTED with something else.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

via:  abcnews

Multiple planes from Wuhan to arrive in the U.S.

Multi planeloads of travelers from Wuhan will arrive this week at Travis AFB CA, Marine Air Stn Miramar CA, Lackland AFB TX, & Eppley Airfield, NE.


Supplemental Info:


For Immediate Release Wednesday, February 5, 2020


Contact: CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286


HHS and CDC Receive Additional Flights Carrying Passengers from China


This week, several planes carrying passengers from Wuhan China will arrive in three states. These locations are Travis Air Force Base in Sacramento, CA, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, CA, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX, and Eppley Airfield in Omaha, NE.


These planes will be met by a team of CDC personnel deployed there to assess the health of the passengers. The passengers have been screened, monitored and evaluated by medical and public health personnel every step of the way, including before takeoff and during the flight. CDC staff will conduct risk

assessments to ensure the health of each traveler, including temperature checks and observing for respiratory symptoms.


These passengers will be issued quarantine orders upon arrival at their designated quarantine location. This legal order is intended to protect the travelers, their families, and the community. This quarantine order will begin on the day the flight left Wuhan and will continue for up to 14 days. Medical care will be readily available at the first onset of symptoms, if needed.


CDC will work with the state and local public health departments to transport any passenger exhibiting symptoms to a hospital for further evaluation.


CDC is committed to protecting the health and safety of Americans. We continue to believe the immediate risk of coronavirus exposure to the general public is low, however, CDC is undertaking these measures to help keep that risk low. CDC is taking these measures to fully assess and care for these passengers to protect them, their loved ones, and their communities.


Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


via:  AlertsUSA.com, Threat Journal

‘Coronavirus’ Threat? Yet 15 MILLION people are now INFECTED with something else.

The news has been terrifying.

Chinese officials claiming bodies should be cremated quickly without  funerals, to avoid spreading infection.

The World Health Organization declaring a global health emergency.

Surgical masks selling out in the UK, because people are terrified the virus has come to their country.

And the first cases appearing here in the United States, indicating the coronavirus is spreading here.

But as worrying as all that is, there is another infection, a WORSE infection, that is threatening us right now.

All it takes is for that, PLUS fears of coronavirus, to COLLAPSE our economy – even for just a few weeks…

…and you won’t believe how many people ALREADY have it!


15 Million People Are ALREADY Infected!

image

See, there’s a ‘coronavirus’ style threat that the news ISN’T talking about.

CNN reported just last week that 19 million people are infected so far this year, and the threat is spreading from state to state.

It’s influenza.

That’s right: While everybody’s worrying about coronavirus (and they should be), the flu is already killing people in the United States.

It just doesn’t rate the news, because people don’t think of “the flu” as the deadly threat it really is.

This season alone, the flu has killed 10,000 people in the United States.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases predicts that this flu season will be the worst one in a decade, and at least 140,000 people have already been hospitalized with flu complications.

That number is only going to go up before this flu season is over!

So, why does that matter?

Because if the flu season gets bad enough – and COMBINED with the threat of coronavirus in the United States – we could experience a supply chain collapse.

And no one is talking about this!

A short-term (or even long-term) “collapse” doesn’t usually happen in one giant THUD that wipes everything out in an instant.

Instead, it goes down as a chain-reaction that can be caused by any triggering event.

When any of these very real events are triggered, they will cause a domino effect that will have a very predictable outcome.

All you need is a “trigger event” – and, let me tell you, friend, a record flu season, coupled with the coronavirus breaking out in the US, is one HELL of a trigger.

(The Centers For Disease Control – the CDC – has been trying to warn us for years that we’re LONG overdue for a deadly pandemic!)

The World Is Not Ready for the Next Pandemic

The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?

The Next Pandemic?

Diseases can spread very quickly across the country through long-distance transportation such as by people using airplanes, trains and even long-distance truck-drivers delivering goods!

Since truckers often stop in the same locations as other truckers for rest, food, re-fueling, and resupply, all it would take is just a few truck-drivers exposed to the coronavirus (or a medicine-resistant strain of the flu) to rapidly spread these diseases throughout the entire trucking industry.

(In fact, I’m ALREADY hearing rumors about Chinese suppliers of consumer goods halting production “temporarily” while the coronavirus has everyone in China afraid! )

Even business are closing doors.

Major fast-food chains and retailers in China are shutting their doors as the deadly coronavirus continues to spread.

Now here’s where things get really scary.

 

You see, most people don’t realize just how dependent we are on our nation’s truck drivers.

Our entire trucking system is part of our nation’s critical underlying infrastructure that supplies every single household and business with all the things we take for granted, such as food, water, medicines, fuel, repair parts, etc.

Once things start to collapse, it will take only 3 days to go from calm to CHAOS.

There’s way more to this type of chain-reaction collapse than I can cover here.

 

See, there are LOTS of “triggering events” that can disrupt every town’s supply chain and send our entire infrastructure into a tailspin, turning everyday folks into hungry, desperate “refugees” forced to fend for themselves and their families.

This is why YOU need to be the most prepared person on your block in order to protect yourself and those you love from the dangers that your neighbors don’t even realize are out there.

 

Don’t wait until the fear of infection shuts down supplies to YOUR town and the grocery store shelves go empty.

 

Get prepared now while there’s time.

 

Prepare. Train. Survive.

 

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

via:  mcsmag