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The Question Is: Will We Survive the Coming Bio Attacks?

Who Will Survive the Coming Bio Attacks--Whether by Nature, Terrorists, or Hostile Nations?

By Dr. John Norris

Being a former FDA COO and Harvard faculty member with expertise in infectious disease spread risk management, I have daily concerns about the level of unpreparedness among companies, government agencies, and countries to survive the next pandemic-sized bio attack. Whether it emerges unexpectedly from nature or is purposely initiated by terrorists or hostile nations, the spread of the disease is what leads to millions of fatalities. Tragically, COVID-19 has already claimed the lives of 1.1 million Americans and 7 million individuals worldwide due to significant mismanagement at various stages of the outbreak and levels of its oversight and handling, from enterprise to government-agency to national leadership. Perhaps as many as 40% of those who died did so avoidably. I have called for academic studies to more precisely set this percentage, but tragically, no studies have been funded. Could those who are responsible for the deaths want to remain anonymous?

During crisis periods, there is extraordinary pressure on business heads and government-agency leaders, specifically those who dare to plunge into the healthcare sector, and national leaders. Their key task is to safeguard our workforce and their families, and ratchet down the toll the spread of infectious diseases can take on our business activities, including operations and financial outcomes at all levels from supplier to enterprise to customer. Unfortunately, the management of the COVID-19 spread risk by such leaders was undeniably abysmal. But our national leaders do not deserve all the blame. Far from it. This failure stemmed from a glaring lack of preparedness and comprehension of the optimal ways to protect our people, enterprises, and economies at local, regional, and national scales from the spread. There were strategies and tools available to companies and government-agencies to help, but the solutions were ignored recklessly or intentionally

At present, the primary concern should be the defense of our employees, families, investors, and every kind of enterprise, covering the entire economic chain from manufacturers to suppliers to insurers to customers. Regretfully, this thought is irresponsibly absent in the strategic planning of businesses and nations at any level. The constant specter of bio attacks, whether borne from nature or sparked by terrorist or hostile nations activities, compels American and global businesses and government organizations to scout now for strategies and solutions that can help avoid the realization of these frightening risks, manage their impact, and raise our chances of survival at both enterprise and national scales. Everyone has a role. And everyone must play their role aggressively and at a high-level of performance.

Let it be clear that the danger of biological attacks by terrorists or antagonistic countries is authentic. Many, including media outlets worn down by the ordeal of COVID-19, wish to deny it. However, these perils are not theoretical; they are substantial risks on the brink of actualization. These attacks could stem from individual actors, structured extremist organizations like Hamas, or overly aggressive countries like Iran, our nemesis who has been threatening us perpetually. It is highly likely these human-manufactured attacks will materialize before another nature-made pandemic hits us, though. Therefore, our strategic planning efforts must first tackle this threat of human-engineered attacks. The paramount question that follows is: Do we have in place and fully operational the preparation required to sustain ourselves, our enterprises, and nation during a human-made bio attack? If we do not, which sad status is what S2P's market study overwhelmingly confirms, what 'strategic preparedness' measures can we employ now to enhance our survival probabilities at each social, economic, and leadership level?

A possibly promising solution is Safety2Prosperity's ''VirusVigilant infectious disease spread risk management product.'' This avant-garde, innovation of innovation tool is intended to avoid, reduce, control and identify actual or impending outbreaks, enabling and recommending businesses (especially healthcare organizations) and government agencies, both for themselves and for us, to enact proactive measures before, during, and after an initial threat or attack--with the objective of preventing the propagation and growth of infectious diseases within their workspaces and boundaries. VirusVigilant is constructed based on the insight that the most dangerous place to be during most bio attacks is indoors, such as in work facilities and homes. But with the right tools, those locations can be transformed into the safest locations to spend most of ones day. So, would comprehensive execution and usage of VirusVigilant at this level provide assistance in the event of a bio attack? The resolution is complex. It relies on several aspects such as the nature of the attack (for example, its intensity, aim, and frequency) and the effectiveness of our response. If the bio warfare is confined and precise, VirusVigilant in isolation, could play a significant part in containment and mitigation strategies.

However, when the bioattack is more extensive, or the pathogen(s) involved are more complex, our survival chances may substantially decrease without creating the significant add-ons that VirusVigilant helps inspire. In such instances, the value of having VirusVigilant and the associated robust emergency response preparedness, broad healthcare professionals training modules, and strong public health infrastructure and network to bolster collective efforts becomes paramount. VirusVigilant can facilitate corporations, their suppliers, and customers, as well as our critical government agencies (who also need to endure, therefore must be users) and those participating in strategic planning, to devise these plans, infrastructure, and collective networks both pre and post-attack, flexibly and responsively. During attacks, consecutive assaults might involve different pathogens (like COVID-19, followed by the Flu, then RSV) or different distribution mechanisms (canisters, then embedded agents, then embedded suicide agents; further disclosure of ways and means is caped by national security and defense concerns) so planning can become exceedingly complex without using VirusVigilant as the intellectual and inspirational hub.

Dr. Norris said: "Biowarfare, whether a light threat, or an increasingly extensive threat that is about to be actualized, can no longer be ignored. The next time we fail as badly as we did in risk managing COVID-19, it could kill 10 million Americansnot 1.1 million--and according to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), 50 million, not 7 million, globally."

S2P's 'preparedness model and plan' equips us in advance, setting up pre-attack measures, while during and post-attack responses are initiated under its 'fully active and highly responsive model and plan'. To help combat the potential threats, VirusVigilant, developed by S2P, has a capability to risk manage up to 24 deadly pathogens as selected at the discretion of the CEO or COO. However, the effectiveness of our strategies in addressing biothreats that are globally present or originate from hostile nations will depend on international readiness, planning, and cooperation that VirusVigilant can help stimulate. By partnering with other countries, exchanging resources and intelligence, and working out quick response protocols, we can significantly enhance our chances of surviving in the face of bio threats. As part of these strategies, VirusVigilant must be implemented in an organization's headquarters and facilities worldwide. Further, it's essential to use VirusVigilant to encourage the nations where these facilities are present (as well as the company's primary suppliers and customers operating within same high-risk global regions) to collectively gear up for risk managing the potential threats, utilizing VirusVigilant's advanced SaaS offering as the hub, model, and inspiration.

Despite the sophisticated capabilities of VirusVigilant's tools, generating millions of data analytics daily at an inexpensive cost per worker (as low as 50-cents per employee per month for large enterprises), they are not a cure-all solution. To be truly prepared for a bioattack, we need to study all facets of our healthcare systems, emergency response mechanisms and public health infrastructure in depth. Used assertively and correctly, VirusVigilant can inspire investment by others and drive the establishment of extra defenses and lines of defenses. It's crucial to create robust coalitions of government bodies, health organizations, and private firms. With our combined skills, resources, and knowledge, S2P can assist our customers and their vital supporters and government agencies in devising and implementing strategies to identify, avoid, and respond to biothreats, whether they are naturally occurring or human-made, to counteract these attacks swiftly, productively, cooperatively, and most of all, highly effectively.

S2P holds the view that the most eminent risk at present comes from bioterrorist attacks. This threat could materialize in the coming months should the Middle East proxy wars escalate. The danger is particularly heightened if Hamas, feeling cornered and desperate, decides to launch a 'last stand'. Subsequent to this are the risks posed by a biowarfare attack from a hostile nation-state. This kind of assault could occur within a time frame of months to three years, according to S2P. Further down the list of concerns is a naturally occurring pandemic-scale bioattack, an event S2P speculates could occur anywhere between three and ten years from now. While we must keep this in mind, it's not as immediate a threat as the other two. Contrary to popular belief, the possibility of these three forms of attack occurring again isn't a matter of decades, nor are they unlikely to ever reoccur.

The world will be under the reign of human-manufactured biowarfare for decades if a terrorist or nation breaches the dam. The scale of control will parallel the dominance of chemical and nuclear warfare in the past. These conventional approaches to warfare are losing their relevance. Unlike chemical attacks that do not propagate continuously, or nuclear attacks that are easily detectable, biowarfare strikes the perfect balance. It resides in the 'Goldilocks Zone', making it now an ideal choice for terrorists or nation-states. So, bioweapons are about to fill the void.

Dr. Norris further said: "Just as with the threat or outbreak of a fire or a flood, we must be prepared for the time when normal "escalation-reluctance" is no longer enough of a dam, and a significant biowarfare threat or its realization occurs."

In essence, the relevance and concern of bio attacks have become undeniable in today's world. It is an urgent duty for leadership in businesses, relevant government agencies, and governments, particularly in the critical healthcare sector, to ensure readiness for such potential crises. The cost of preparedness is negligible compared to the calamitous financial implications of unpreparedness--millions per injured employee or family member and possibly billions if companies shut down temporarily or permanently. The next wave of biological threats will not show leniency to unprepared CEOs or COOs, possibly resulting in the loss of their jobs.

Tools like VirusVigilant can certainly enhance our readiness, but they represent only a single part of a larger solution. In combination with VirusVigilant, we need to develop exhaustive strategies for preparing against bio-attacks and work together with leaders who are responsible nationally and internationally. Moreover, the fortification of our healthcare infrastructure and networks is crucial to increase our survivability against impending bio attacks, whether the survival achieved is on a company level or even national level. Nonetheless, there remains a pressing question: Who among us will survive the coming bio attacks? The answer is unclear, but our chances of survival can be significantly boosted by utilizing VirusVigilant across all enterprise levels alongside thorough planning, training, and collaboration on local, regional, national, and global levels. In sum, VirusVigilant can significantly bolster an enterprise or even a nation’s ability, with a high degree of certainty, to survive these challenges and potentially even emerge stronger or more competitive.

Safely2Prosperity (S2P) provides a "comprehensive infectious-disease spread risk-management solution" for business executives and government leaders. S2P's VirusVigilant "Infectious Disease Safety Program" (like a Fire Safety Program) combines a SaaS platform with customized risk management packages of vaccinations, testing, therapeutics, and tracking technologies, among many others. It helps business executives and government leaders to meet their moral and ethical responsibilities and protect and enhance workforce productivity—thereby ensuring business continuity, revenue, and profits—and government agency effectiveness. With a focus on proactive measures, S2P offers a cost-effective, low-cost (as low as pennies per employee per month), and intuitive solution for risk managing infectious disease spread risks.

I implore you, my esteemed reader, to ponder on the following crucial matter of concern as it pertains to you and your organization: 'Who will withstand prospective biological attacks, whether they originate from natural sources, come from terrorist activities, or are instigated by belligerent nations, should the rising threats come to fruition?' This pressing question calls for our prompt focus on the question and ideating and taking profound preventive steps. As a specialist in the field of infectious disease spread risk management, having previously held the roles of a COO at the FDA and a faculty member at Harvard, my studies have perpetually revolved around my anxieties concerning the unpreparedness of companies, government authorities, and countries to counter this looming danger. The disastrous mishandling witnessed in the face of COVID-19 acts as an alarming indication of the perils that result from a lack of readiness--potentially leading to unnecessary deaths of millions in America and around the globe, and causing significant non-lethal injury to tens of millions more, including extensive physical, mental, psychological, or financial damage, perhaps with permanent consequences.

To increase our chances of survival from bio attack, we must prioritize the protection of our workforce, families, enterprises, and economy. By utilizing Safety2Prosperity's VirusVigilant, along with robust bioattack preparedness strategies and international collaboration, we can greatly improve our capacity to detect, prevent, mitigate, control, and promptly respond to biothreats and attacks.

Given the escalating war in the Middle East, we are facing a very real and definite threat. Bio attack is "a real and present danger." There is a high probability that our enemies will amplify or actualize this threat in the coming months or years. Hence, immediate actions to prepare ourselves are required. Enterprises, government agencies, and nations contemporaneously face many challenges. But as resource-draining as it may be, the biowarfare safety of our people, businesses, government-agencies, and nations should be our top priority--right now. We face a multitude of tasks. So, we'd prefer if the devastating spread of infectious diseases was a thing of the past. But it’s not. Whether by chance or by design, the last resort for terrorists and nations in the Middle East facing survival pressures may be biowarfare, covertly implemented or overtly launched.

For more information on Safely2Prosperity and its VirusVigilant product, please contact Dr. John Norris at text number 617-680-3127 or email John.Norris@Safely2Prosperity.com.

© Safely2Prosperity LLC and Dr. John Norris, JD, MBA

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