(this post is as a response to the above mentioned article)
My area of expertise is NOT discussing the threat level colors with national security experts and advisors arguing about a possible impending terror plot using biological weapons. I leave that complicated and complex discussion and decision-making to those experts, and God be with them and us…
My area of expertise is program administration, infrastructure coordination and immediate implementation of emergency response policies such as putting the correct SOPs to work, dealing with and trying to protect the first responders, dealing with city & hospital command centers, dealing with local, state and federal agencies, organizing teams and rolling out regional plans… and of course managing & administering it all in the most productive, cost effective, safe and human capital most efficient way.
Reading about the split view between the US and UK on the response to small pox threat, while out of my area of expertise, nonetheless all I see in this are the problematic areas of such sentinel event response starting with the politics of preventing public panic, not knowing the degree of events we would be dealing with as the latency of small pox is up to 3 weeks and they are highly infectious – and that’s just for starters!
In today’s globalized and inter-connected world we would be probably looking at pandemic situation where 2 million doses of US vaccines – even when and if administered at the most opportune time to the right people – would barely scratch the surface of such disaster. …Would antivirals save lives? In time?
So yes, from the administrator point of view, a band-aid solution… and didn’t we learn, band-aid solutions cause more damage and are followed by increased public anger and outrage plus are usually way more costly in the end?
The political and societal fall out of such health security threat sentinel event would reach heights we have never seen before with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, instant messaging, YouTube, Pintrest etc… It would be up to the administrators and the politicians to calm and reassure the population that all the necessary steps are being taken… Are they? Would they?
Again, we are talking about small pox with 3 weeks prodromal stage, highly infectious spread and don’t forget – scary looking, as I can already see the horrible images floating on Instagram, YouTube and being posted on FB and the enormous public panic & fear that would create as a result, because in today’s inter-connected and globalized world we all are much closer to one another, both literally and figuratively speaking.
(Highly developed, skilled and organized social crises media management during emergency response is and will be an indispensable and absolutely vital part of any emergency planning, preparedness and response).
So both countries better return to the point of origin and start thinking of the proper procedures, administration and coordination of such wide-spread effort with proper planning, training, established (and properly working and functioning!) channels of communications, assigned priorities, tasks, set ways of decision-making during such sentinel events – with proper management and foresight into what may come.
Without well prepared and well though-out massive plans of response, the division of views between the US and the UK on this issue will sadly be completely irrelevant.