World Economic Forum admits pandemic “live simulation exercise” started in Mid-October 2019

Do the words "live exercise" ring a bell?
Anthony Quintano/Flickr

A news release published by the World Economic Forum in Mid-October reveals that the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hosted the kickoff to Event 201 in October of 2019.

According to the report, the “high-level simulation exercise for pandemic preparedness and response” took place in “New York, USA, on Friday 18 October, 08.45 – 12.30 EDT.”

The exercise was planned to “bring together business, government, security and public health leaders to address a hypothetical global pandemic scenario. It will also feature a live virtual experience from 08.50 – 12.30 EDT to engage stakeholders worldwide and members of the public in a meaningful conversation of difficult high-level policy choices that could arise in the midst of a severe pandemic.”

Participants of the excersise include:

  • Latoya Abbott, Risk Management/Global Senior Director Occupational Health Services, Marriott International
  • Stan Bergman, Chairman and CEO, Henry Schein
  • Sofia Borges, Senior Vice President, UN Foundation
  • Chris Elias, President, Global Development division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Tim Evans, Former Senior Director of Health, World Bank Group
  • George Gao, Director-General, Chinese Center for Disease Control
  • Avril Haines, Former Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency; Former Deputy National Security Advisor
  • Jane Halton, Board member, ANZ Bank; Former Secretary of Finance and Former Secretary of Health, Australia
  • Matthew Harrington, Global President and Chief Operations Officer, Edelman
  • Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control
  • Martin Knuchel, Head of Crisis, Emergency and Business Continuity Management, Lufthansa Group Airlines
  • Eduardo Martinez, President, The UPS Foundation
  • Stephen Redd, Deputy Director for Public Health Service and Implementation Science, US CDC
  • Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chair of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson
  • Hasti Taghi, Vice President and Executive Advisor, NBCUniversal Media
  • Lavan Thiru, Chief Representative, Monetary Authority of Singapore

Additionally, the press release points out: “Similar high-level pandemic exercises designed to address difficult policy issues have included: Dark Winter, examining the challenges of a biological attack on the US; Atlantic Storm, asking NATO leaders to respond collaboratively to a bioterrorist attack: and most recently, Clade X, calling on US government leaders to make difficult national security and public health decisions in the face of a rapidly evolving global crisis.”