In a document obtained by Newsweek, Department of Defense officials said that Covid-19 will “likely” become a global pandemic within the next 30 days.
This comes after a 23-year-old soldier stationed in South Korea became the first member of the US armed forces to contract the illness.
“The DoD is concerned not only the impact COVID-19 has on mission readiness, but the risk to inadvertently spread the virus to the U.S. by returning members who may have been exposed,” a senior Pentagon official told Newsweek…
…When asked for comment, Jessica R. Maxwell, a DOD spokesperson, said the DoD has “contingency plans in place and are taking steps to educate and safeguard our military and civilian personnel, family members and base communities in preventing widespread outbreak.” But ultimately, “Commanders of individually affected geographic commands will be and are issuing specific guidance to their forces as their situations may require.”
…The use of the term “pandemic” in the briefing documents described a global outbreak, whereas an “epidemic” would be confined to a country,” a senior Pentagon official told Newsweek. During a pandemic, a large number of people in several countries or continents are affected, according to the CDC. (source)
Arguably, it’s already a pandemic since it has reached every continent except Antarctica. Many people in the United States are paying attention and ratcheting up their preparedness for possible quarantines and other measures.
The National Center for Medical Intelligence (the NCMI) raised the Risk of Pandemic warning from WATCHCON 2 to WATCHCON 1, according to the document obtained by Newsweek. WATCHCON 2 is used in the event of a “probable crisis” and WATCHCON 1 means the crisis is imminent.
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