The Coronavirus was inevitable, the pandemic was avoidable.

I would suggest coronavirus was inevitable, but the pandemic along with its personal and economic costs was avoidable.  Millions have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and when all is said and done, the US will have spent trillions of dollars combating the pandemic and recovering economically. 

First of all, the pandemic was not a black swan event, and this from the author of the 2007 bestseller "The Black Swan" Nassim Nicholas Taleb.  In a paper, he co-authored on January 26th, 2020, issued a warning the coronavirus could lead to a pandemic.  In an interview, he was quoted as saying governments “did not want to spend pennies in January; now they are going to spend trillions.”

Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine in 2005 that, "This is a critical point in our history. Time is running out to prepare for the next pandemic. We must act now with decisiveness and purpose." His 2017 book, "Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs" detailed the increasing risk. 

In May 2006 the Homeland Security Council prepared "National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan which was announced by President George W. Bush.  President Bush stated in a cover letter in May 2006 the Plan was "a comprehensive approach to addressing the threat of pandemic influenza".   

In 2006, epidemiologist Dr. Larry Brilliant whose work with WHO helped eradicate smallpox gave a Ted Talk entitled "My wish:  Help me stop pandemics". 

In a 2006 Flu Pandemic Preparedness Plan, prepared by Massachusetts public health officials projected that as many as 2 million people could become ill using models prepared by the CDC at that time.  

Bill Gates did a Ted Talk in 2015 entitled "The next outbreak?  Were not ready".   

In 2016, Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital’s Center for Vaccine Development in Houston, and his team of researchers had developed a vaccine to protect against a deadly strain of coronavirus, but could not get funding for testing.

Dr. Luciana Borio of the former White House National Security Council (NSC) team responsible for pandemics has previously warned of a pandemic flu threat.  Borio, the council's director of medical and biodefense preparedness, said in 2018: "The threat of pandemic flu is the number one health security concern. Are we ready to respond? I fear the answer is no."  The current administration disbanded this team.  

Going back to 2009, the Director of National Intelligence in its Report has warned of the risk of a pandemic.  In 2019, at that time DNI Director Dan Coats stated in his report “The United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large-scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support.” 

Our National leaders, then and now [sadly, some are the same] have consistently had access to credible scientific information predicting the pandemic was unavoidable and preparing for it would reduce both its human and economic costs.  

This is a failure of Nationally elected leaders for years to plan for an inevitable disaster that has a cost of trillions of dollars as a Nation.  They are all paid by the US Government to work for us and failed us terribly.  

Frankly, I would suggest any long-time elected member of Congress, Democrat or Republican, who cannot independent verification of this individual Congress person's personal support for public health including but not limited to support of infectious disease research to basic health for all citizens should resign.  In corporate American, if someone screws up or a whole department screws up and causes the company to lose millions if not billions of dollars they are fired. For the same reason, any member of Congress who did not support public health should immediately resign.  If not, I hope we as a country hold each one of them accountable for their inaction, lack of planning, and foresight.  They just cost us trillions. 

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