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Pandemics

Pandemic 18 months+ ? Multiple Waves? More Shortages?

The US #government is preparing for the #coronavirus pandemic to last at least 18 months and result in “significant shortages for government, private sector, and individual US consumers.”

A US government plan was leaked to The New York Times, summarizing the highlights in an article two days ago.

“A federal government plan to #combat the coronavirus warned #policymakers last week that a #pandemic ‘will last 18 months or longer’ and could include ‘multiple #waves,’ resulting in widespread #shortages that would strain consumers and the nation’s health care system,” the Times wrote.

The 18-month figure is in line with the best-case estimates of how long it will take to develop a v#accine and make it widely available. There could be #millions of #deaths in the US, UK and the rest of the #world. alone during that time.

The Times did not publish the full US government report. “Much of the plan is bureaucratic in #nature, describing coordination among agencies and actions that in some cases have already been taken, like urging schools to close and large events to be canceled,” the article said.

The plan’s #warnings include the following:

#Shortages of #products may occur, impacting health care, #emergency services, and other elements of #critical #infrastructure… This includes potentially critical #shortages of #diagnostics, medical supplies (including #PPE [personal protective equipment] and #pharmaceuticals), and #staffing in some locations.

State and local governments, as well as critical infrastructure and #communications channels, will be #stressed and potentially less reliable. These stresses may also increase the #challenges of getting updated #messages and coordinating guidance to these #jurisdictions directly.

The NY Times said the plan listed actions #POTUS Trump could take, such as “invoking the #Defense Production Act of 1950, a #Korean War-era law that authorizes a #president to take extraordinary action to force #American #industry to ramp up production of #critical equipment and #supplies such as #ventilators, respirators and #protective gear for health care #workers.”

Trump said on Tuesday that “we hope we don’t need” to invoke the #Defense Production Act but that “we’ll make that #decision pretty quickly if we need it,” the #Times wrote.

Other options for the US mentioned in the #government plan “include distributing #medicalsupplies and #equipment from the #Strategic National #Stockpile, providing money to states to help them meet demands caused by the #coronavirus outbreak and #prioritizing the distribution of #essential #resources to focus on #areas most in need,” the Times wrote.

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