Former senior intelligence and national security officers explore headlines noting that intelligence reports provided to the Trump White House had laid out the likelihood of a pandemic with unnerving clarity - and one even noted worrisome signs of a rapidly spreading virus in Wuhan in November (ABC: https://bit.ly/covid19wuhanintell)
But the challenge for this or any administration is not awareness, but prioritization, as former National Intelligence Council analyst Rod Schoonover put it in a previous Sustain What conversation:
“In my world in the intelligence community, I was often very proud to be in one of the only parts of the government that either had the platform or the freedom to clearly state some of the risks. In the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment, it lays out language that’s very, very, eerily prescient of this moment. But it also landed on, I think, page 21. So, yes, it’s a risk, but we clearly don’t have it calibrated quite right.”
In a fresh chat with Schoonover and Alice Hill, a former National Security Council official and biodefense expert, we explore what will be needed for any administration with any political orientation to do better.
SUSTAIN WHAT is a global conversation identifying solutions to the complicated, shape-shifting and epic challenges of humanity’s “great acceleration.” A prime focus is making sense of, and getting the most out of, the planet's fast-forward information environment -- the one Earth System changing faster than the actual environment.
This webcast is produced by Columbia University's Earth Institute, where we’re building a new Initiative on Communication and Sustainability.
For the time being, these sessions will be focused on mitigating the unfolding societal disruption and devastation driven by the global spread of COVID-19. But we will dip into other subjects and solutions when the time is right.