You never knew that there would be a pandemic, and you had never seen anything like this before. No one would ever have imagined a thing like this will strike. However, before COVID-19 hit the world, several people had already issued warnings about the pandemic. Those people included medical experts, famous authors, and presidents. These people were issuing warnings in conferences, televisions, and government reports. Here are some of the seven warning signs about the pandemic that we ignored:
UNC Specialists warned about the emergence of coronavirus (2015-2016)
A famous coronavirus epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina had been warning about the outbreak for several years. In a remarkable article termed as the Nature Medicine, the epidemiologist predicted a possible risk of SARS-COV re-emergence from the viruses circulating in the population of bats. In 2016 in a paper known as PNAS, he further warned that the virus outbreak was on the loose and showed potentialities that could greatly affect human beings.
TED Talk by Bill Gates “We are not ready” (2015)
Bill Gates delivered a TED talk in 2015 with the title “The next outbreak? We are not ready.” Gates said that the greatest risk of a global pandemic that is highly infectious was nearing. Gates reminded the world about the warning a year and eight months later in a World Economic Forum in Switzerland. In 2017 (October), at the American Society of Human Genetics conference, Bill Gates also mentioned the emergence of a deadly pandemic while addressing the members.
Bill Gates also talked about the need to come up with new mechanisms to help fight the pandemic. He spoke about the need to develop vaccines and other therapies quickly and further offered new vaccine development ideas using the adenovirus-associated DNA and RNA or even editing genes.
Fauci’s Speech at Georgetown (January, 2017)
Antony Fauci gave a public lecture at Georgetown University with the heading “Pandemic Preparedness in the Next Administration.” The main message in his speech was that there would be a big challenge in handling the pandemic. Fauci also added that the upcoming regimes would have the same challenges previous administrations had.
“Coming of the Next Plague” by the Atlantic
A catching story was written by a proper scientist for the Atlantic in 2018 about “The coming of the next plague: is the US prepared?” Ed Yong, the author at Atlantic, referred to the H1N1 flu that attacked Mexico and caught the U.S. by surprise. Yong talked of the H1N1, which had spread for months and had not been noticed in the U.S. Yong added that the White House had become a home to a conspiracy-minded president, which was not to be underestimated.
Remarks by Alex Azar DHHS secretary (April, 2019)
In 2019 at the Biodefense summit, Azar asked,” What keeps you awake in the biodefense world?” and the response was the Pandemic flu. He concluded by saying, “I think everybody in this summit shares the same concern.”
China Cases Detected by NCMI (November, 2019)
In November 2019, a confidential report was circulated by the National Center for Medical Intelligence that warned of a contagious disease in Wuhan, China. The report was issued to the National Security Council, White House, and to Mark Esper, the Defense Secretary, who denied its awareness.
Pandemic warnings in FEMA reports (2019)
In an event managed within the National Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment report, the Federal Emergency Management Agency had predicted that a new virus pandemic having no vaccine would lead to inadequate medical supply, strain health centers, and cause economic shutdowns.
Had these warnings been heeded, who knows how better prepared the world might have been before COVID-19 struck? It would be eye-opening to hear what biomed companies like Genprex Inc. (NASDAQ: GNPX) think about the usefulness of such early warnings.
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