A Naval War College Pandemic War Game in 2019 Had Eerie Parallels to the Coronavirus Response Today

An infectious disease breaks out in a densely populated metropolis and is spreading rapidly, causing respiratory failure and death in its victims. As local containment and response mechanisms break down and cases multiply, it becomes clear that a global response β€” spanning governments, humanitarian organizations, health agencies and the military β€” will be required.

That scenario is not a condensed narrative of the COVID-19 pandemic that currently has much of the globe on lockdown. Rather, it’s the premise of a war game run last September by the Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, Rhode Island. And its findings β€” released in summary format Wednesday β€” reveal prescient and sometimes troubling parallels to the real-world response effort that continues today.

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