Covid-19 Resources for Research and Teaching: Unheeded Warnings

Pérez-Peña, R and D. McNeil Jr. 2020. W.H.O., Now Trump’s Scapegoat, Warned About Coronavirus Early and Often, The Washington Post, 16 April.

Diamond, D. 2020. Inside America’s 2-Decade Failure to Prepare for Coronavirus, Politico, 11 April.

Lipton, E. et al. 2020. He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure on the Virus, The New York Times, 11 April.

Dilanian, K. 2020. U.S. spy agencies collected raw intelligence hinting at public health crisis in Wuhan, China, in November, NBC News, 9 April.

Naylor, B. 2020. FEMA Predicted Pandemic Effects In July 2019, NPR, 9 April.

Haberman, M. 2020. Trade Adviser Warned White House in January of Risks of a Pandemic, New York Times, 6 April.

Diamond, D. and N. Toosi, 2020. Trump team failed to follow NSC’s pandemic playbook, Politico, 25 March.

Fidler, D. 2020. Coronavirus: A Twenty-Year Failure, Think Global Health.

GAO, 2018. INFECTIOUS DISEASE THREATS: Funding and Performance of Key Preparedness and Capacity-Building Programs, GAO-18-362: Published: May 24, 2018

GAO, 2020. NATIONAL BIODEFENSE STRATEGY: Additional Efforts Would Enhance Likelihood of Effective Implementation, GAO-20-273: Published: Feb 19, 2020

Tankersley, J. 2020. White House Economists Warned in 2019 a Pandemic Could Devastate America, The New York Times, 31 March.

L. Borio and S. Gottlieb, 2020. Act Now to Prevent an American Epidemic, The Wall Street Journal, 28 January.

Taylor, M. 2020. Exclusive: U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak, Reuters, 22 March.

Roston, A. 2020. Exclusive: White House told federal health agency to classify coronavirus deliberations – sources, Reuters, 11 March.

Levey, N. et al. 2020. A disaster foretold: Shortages of ventilators and other medical supplies have long been warned about, Los Angeles Times, 20 March.

Sanger, D. et al. 2020. A Cascade of Warnings, Heard but Unheeded, Before Virus Outbreak, New York Times, 19 March. Linked U.S. government documents: a. Crimson Contagion exercise – PDF, b. NSC Lessons Learned Study on Ebola- PDF

WEF, 2019. Outbreak Readiness and Business Impact Protecting Lives and Livelihoods across the Global Economy, World Economic Forum, January.

Council of Economic Advisers, 2019. Mitigating the Impact of Pandemic
Influenza through Vaccine Innovation, Executive Office of the President, White House. September (PDF)

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2019, Event 201 pandemic simulation

Fan, Y.; Zhao, K.; Shi, Z.-L.; Zhou, P. Bat Coronaviruses in ChinaViruses 201911, 210.

Yong, E. 2018. The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?, The Atlantic, July/August.

National Security Council, 2018. Clade X pandemic simulation

National Research Council 2016. The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Sands, P. et al. 2016. Assessment of economic vulnerability to infectious disease crises, The Lancet, 12 November.

Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, 2016. Biodefense Indicators One Year Later, Events Outpacing Federal Efforts To Defend The Nation, Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense.

Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, 2015.  A National Blueprint for Biodefense:
Leadership And Major Reform Needed To Optimize Efforts, Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense.

Menachery, V.D., Yount Jr, B.L., Debbink, K., Agnihothram, S., Gralinski, L.E., Plante, J.A., Graham, R.L., Scobey, T., Ge, X.Y., Donaldson, E.F. and Randell, S.H., 2015. A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergenceNature medicine21(12), p.1508.

He, B., Zhang, Y., Xu, L., Yang, W., Yang, F., Feng, Y., Xia, L., Zhou, J., Zhen, W., Feng, Y. and Guo, H., 2014. Identification of diverse alphacoronaviruses and genomic characterization of a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome-like coronavirus from bats in ChinaJournal of virology88(12), pp.7070-7082.

Jackson, C. (2009). History lessons: the Asian Flu pandemic. Br J Gen Pract59(565), 622-623. (PDF)

Lloyd’s of London, 2008. Pandemic: Potential Insurance Impacts. (PDF)

Cheng, V. C., Lau, S. K., Woo, P. C., & Yuen, K. Y. (2007). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus as an agent of emerging and reemerging infectionClinical microbiology reviews20(4), 660-694.

Lederberg, J. et al., 1992. EMERGING INFECTIONS: Microbial Threats to Health in the United States, Institutes of Medicine, Washington, DC. (PDF)

Covid-19 Resources for Research and Teaching: United States Pandemic Policy and Planning

Wayback Machine archive of CDC COVID-19 Situation Summaries, starting 21 January 2020 (link)

Red Dawn email chain (via NYT) (PDF) – See Pradhan, R. and C. Jewett. 2020. ‘Red Dawn Breaking Bad’: Officials Warned About Safety Gear Shortfall Early On, Emails Show, Kaiser Health News, 28 March.

Lippman, D. 2020. DHS wound down pandemic models before coronavirus struck, Politico, 25 March.

Department of Homeland Security, 2019. Strategy for Integrated Biosurveillance, July 30, 2019, Fiscal Year 2018 Report to Congress (PDF)

U.S. Congress, 2019. Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019, P.L. 116-22. (PDF)

White House, 2018. National Biodefense Strategy (PDF).

HHS, 2018. National Health Security Strategy: 2019-2022, Department of Health and Human Services. (PDF)

National Science and Technology Council, 2016. TOWARDS EPIDEMIC PREDICTION:

National Security Council, 2016. Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents, (PDF).

National Academy of Sciences 2016. Rapid Medical Countermeasure Response to Infectious Diseases: Enabling Sustainable Capabilities Through Ongoing Public- and Private-Sector Partnerships: Workshop Summary (link)


U.S. GAO, 2015. BIOSURVEILLANCE Additional Planning, Oversight, and Coordination Needed to Enhance National Capability (PDF)

U.S. GAO, 2015. Biosurveillance Challenges and Options for the National Biosurveillance Integration Center, GAO-15-793. Washington, DC. (PDF)

GAO, Influenza Pandemic: Lessons from the H1N1 Pandemic Should Be
Incorporated Into Future Planning, GAO-11-632 (Washington, D.C.: June 27, 2011)

A National Blueprint for Biodefense: Leadership and Major Reform Needed to Optimize Efforts – Bipartisan Report of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense. Hudson Institute: Washington, DC, October 2015,

HHS, 2014. National Health Security Strategy and Implementation Plan: 2015-2018, Department of Health and Human Services. (PDF)

U.S. Congress, 2013. Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013, P.L. 113-5. (PDF)

White House, 2012. National Strategy for Biosurveillance (PDF)

HHS, 2012. An HHS Retrospective on the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic to Advance All Hazards Preparedness, 15 June (PDF)

HHS, 2009. National Health Security Strategy of the United States of America, Department of Health and Human Services. (PDF)

U.S. Congress, 2006. Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, P.L. 109-417. (PDF)


Covid-19 Resources for Research and Teaching: Tools and Training

CDC. Create an Epi Curve (here)

CDC, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Manual and Tools (link)

CDC, Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication Overview for COVID-19 (link)

Wendleboe et al. 2020. Tabletop exercise to prepare institutions of higher education for an outbreak of COVID-19, Journal of Emergency Management, Vol 18.  Article (PDF), Tabletop Exercise (PDF)

Short Course: Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), World Health Organization.

UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011 (PDF)

WHO, 2008. International Health Regulations, (2nd Ed) World Health Organization. (link)

Updated: Start of a New Syllabus: Policy, Expertise, Pandemics



For the remainder of the semester, I am reworking my graduate seminar on science and society for the period after spring break to focus on policy, expertise and pandemics. I’ll use this post as a running list of materials that might be included in such a syllabus. Suggestions welcomed.

Continue reading “Updated: Start of a New Syllabus: Policy, Expertise, Pandemics”

New WMO Assessment of Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change, Lee et al. 2020

WMP-TCsThis post summarizes a new assessment by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) of tropical cyclones and climate change in the Western North Pacific Basin (WNP). The WNP experiences about a third of total global tropical cyclones (figure above) and also has about a third of global population.

The new WMO assessment further reinforces the conclusions of all major assessments of tropical cyclones (including hurricanes) that the the detection and attribution of trends due to human-caused climate change has not been achieved.

The new assessment:

Lee, T. C., Knutson, T. R., Nakaegawa, T., Ying, M., & Cha, E. J. (2020). Third Assessment on Impacts of Climate Change on Tropical Cyclones in the Typhoon Committee Region–Part I: Observed Changes, Detection and AttributionTropical Cyclone Research and Review.

Details after the break.

Continue reading “New WMO Assessment of Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change, Lee et al. 2020”

Blood Doping at the 2011 & 2013 IAAF World Championships

10000_m_men_finish_moscow_2013A new paper (Faiss et al. 2020) reports that 15% of male and 22% of female endurance athletes at the 2011 and 2013 IAAF World Championships engaged in “blood doping” — defined as the use of prohibited methods to boost red blood cell amounts. No athletes are identified by name or country in the analysis, and no specific athlete is implicated in this post. However, the aggregate numbers are stunning.

Continue reading “Blood Doping at the 2011 & 2013 IAAF World Championships”

Are Male Olympic Athletes Inherently Worth More than Females?


The question posed in the headline is apparently the basis of a theory being advanced by the U.S. Soccer Federation in the lawsuit brought by U.S. Women’s National Team players seeking equal pay. To the extent that this theory is accepted by the courts, it has the potential to reshape all women’s sport in the United States.

From a USSF filing yesterday (emphasis in original):

“To prevail on their motion, Plaintiffs must show, based on the facts when viewed in the light most favorable to U.S. Soccer, that any reasonable juror would conclude that U.S. Soccer intentionally paid Plaintiffs less money that it otherwise would have, simply because they are women.”

One need look no further than page 11 of the filing to see USSF making an argument that women are inherently inferior to men, concluding: “Plaintiffs have cited no case (there is none) suggesting that two jobs requiring materially different levels of strength and speed, where those physical attributes are fundamental to the job, may constitute comparable jobs for [Equal Pay Act] purposes.”

Continue reading “Are Male Olympic Athletes Inherently Worth More than Females?”

New Forbes Column: Every Day 10,000 People Die Due To Air Pollution From Fossil Fuels


“Climate change is not the only consequence of the burning of fossil fuels. A study published last week in the journal Cardiovascular Research estimated that in 2015, the deaths of more than 3.6 million people worldwide could have been avoided if air pollution from fossil fuels were reduced to zero.

These numbers are staggering. They equate to about 10,000 deaths per day, every day, under the study’s mean estimates. Excess deaths from fossil fuel air pollution comprises about 40% of all air pollution deaths. The estimates in this new study are about twice as large as past estimates of excess mortality from air pollution.”

Read the rest here.

Recent Trends in Amazon Fires


The figure above is from a new paper (Lizundia-Loiola et al. 2020) on recent trends in burned area (BA) and active fires (AF) in the Amazon. The caption for the figure reads: “Country anomalies of BAs (solid line) and AFs (dotted line) for the 2001–2019 period (considering only from January to October).”

The press release on the study from the European Space Agency alludes to the stark difference between actual trends and media coverage of fires in 2019:

“Thousands of fires broke out in the Amazon last year – sparking an international media frenzy. A detailed analysis, using data from the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative, indicates that while there was a small increase of fires in 2019 compared to 2018, fires in Brazil were similar to the average annual number of fires detected over the past 18 years.”