Results from the 2021 Tabletop Exercise Conducted in Partnership with the Munich Security Conference
[Is This Going To Be A $500 Billion Payday For Big Pharma? – Only If We Let It Be]
Summary: In March 2021, NTI partnered with the Munich Security Conference to conduct a tabletop exercise on reducing high-consequence biological threats. The exercise examined gaps in national and international biosecurity and pandemic preparedness architectures—exploring opportunities to improve prevention and response capabilities for high-consequence biological events. This report summarizes the exercise scenario, key findings from the discussion, and actionable recommendations for the international community.
In March 2021, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) partnered with the Munich Security Conference (MSC) to conduct a tabletop exercise on reducing high-consequence biological threats. Conducted virtually, the exercise examined gaps in national and international biosecurity and pandemic preparedness architectures and explored opportunities to improve capabilities to prevent and respond to high-consequence biological events. Participants included 19 senior leaders and experts from across Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe with decades of combined experience in public health, biotechnology industry, international security, and philanthropy.
The exercise scenario portrayed a deadly, global pandemic involving an unusual strain of monkeypox virus that emerged in the fictional nation of Brinia and spread globally over 18 months. Ultimately, the exercise scenario revealed that the initial outbreak was caused by a terrorist attack using a pathogen engineered in a laboratory with inadequate biosafety and biosecurity provisions and weak oversight. By the end of the exercise, the fictional pandemic resulted in more than three billion cases and 270 million fatalities worldwide.
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