2017 Pentagon Memo Reportedly Anticipated Threat of COVID-19-like Pandemic

The United States death toll from COVID-19 now ranks second globally, according to Johns Hopkins University’s data, as frontline health workers have been struggling with shortages of medical supplies while governors across the country have slammed the Federal response to the novel coronavirus.

An internal Pentagon document dated 2017 offered up a warning about the potential threat of a novel coronavirus and the disastrous fallout from it, according to The Nation magazine.

Marked “for official use only” and dated 6 January 2017, the 103-page document titled “USNORTHCOM Branch Plan 3560: Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Disease Response” was reportedly provided to the outlet by an anonymous Pentagon official.

Predicting an Outbreak

The draft suggests the military had been bracing for a potential widespread pandemic, as it spelled out the havoc it might wreak on military readiness and national security.

The draft, writes the publication, updated an earlier Department of Defense pandemic response plan, as it “incorporates insights from several recent outbreaks, including…2012 Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus.”

The internal document goes on to state that an outbreak of “disease coupled with instability may result in reduced security capabilities,” warning that the situation could potentially set the stage for “international military conflict, increased terrorist activity, internal unrest, political and/or economic collapse, a humanitarian…

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