Photo Credit: Screenshot from Event 201 Pandemic Exercise video on YouTube
Event 201 Pandemic Exercise

Event 201 was a high-level pandemic exercise that was hosted October 18, 2019 in New York City by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Alex Jones’s conspiracy theory website InfoWars distorted the facts about that emergency preparedness exercise, suggesting that the “BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION & OTHERS PREDICTED UP TO 65 MILLION DEATHS VIA CORONAVIRUS — IN SIMULATION RAN 3 MONTHS AGO!”

According to FactCheck.org, the exercise focused on emergency preparedness in the event of a “very severe pandemic.” But it didn’t deal with the COVID-19 virus, nor did it make predictions about death tolls.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health issued a statement titled, “Statement about nCoV and our pandemic exercise,” declaring that “In October 2019, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted a pandemic tabletop exercise called Event 201 with partners, the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Recently, the Center for Health Security has received questions about whether that pandemic exercise predicted the current novel coronavirus outbreak in China. To be clear, the Center for Health Security and partners did not make a prediction during our tabletop exercise. For the scenario, we modeled a fictional coronavirus pandemic, but we explicitly stated that it was not a prediction. Instead, the exercise served to highlight preparedness and response challenges that would likely arise in a very severe pandemic. We are not now predicting that the nCoV-2019 outbreak will kill 65 million people. Although our tabletop exercise included a mock novel coronavirus, the inputs we used for modeling the potential impact of that fictional virus are not similar to nCoV-2019.”

The Event 201 exercise did, however, produce a warning that from today’s perspective is quite eerie:

“In recent years, the world has seen a growing number of epidemic events, amounting to approximately 200 events annually. These events are increasing, and they are disruptive to health, economies, and society. Managing these events already strains global capacity, even absent a pandemic threat. Experts agree that it is only a matter of time before one of these epidemics becomes global—a pandemic with potentially catastrophic consequences. A severe pandemic, which becomes ‘Event 201,’ would require reliable cooperation among several industries, national governments, and key international institutions.

Still, even the FactCheck.org article that debunks the conspiracy theory, does touch on some disturbing facts about virus patents that are owned by groups such as the Pirbright Institute. We recommend the article: New Coronavirus Wasn’t ‘Predicted’ In Simulation.

 

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