FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EVENT 201 PANDEMIC EXERCISE UNDERSCORES IMMEDIATE NEED FOR GLOBAL PUBLIC-PRIVATE COOPERATION TO MITIGATE SEVERE ECONOMIC AND SOCIETAL IMPACTS OF PANDEMICS
Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, World Economic Forum and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation host Event 201 in New York, and a Virtual Exercise
NEW YORK, Updated Oct. 17, 2019 – The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, with the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will host Event 201, a multimedia global pandemic exercise on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in New York City. The public may register and participate in the simultaneous virtual exercise in English, 8:50 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EDT at centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/. The exercise underscores the need for global public-private cooperation to mitigate economic and societal impacts of severe pandemics.
In recent years, the world has seen a growing number of epidemic events, about 200 per year, which strain limited resources. A large global pandemic would be disruptive to health, economies, and society. Economic studies show that pandemics could cause an average annual economic loss of 0.7% of global GDP—or $570 billion.
“In addition to challenging health systems, pandemics can cause severe cascading economic and societal consequences,” said Tom Inglesby, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, “Neither governments nor private industries alone can adequately respond to a severe pandemic; they must work together. We’ve designed Event 201 to engage leaders in compelling ways to help them understand the decisions needed to prepare for and respond to biological threats.
Event 201, played by 15 leaders of business, government, and public health, will illustrate realistic policy problems that must be addressed under pressure during a pandemic. At the video-driven exercise, players will be presented with a scenario that reveals unresolved and controversial policy and economic issues that could be solved with sufficient political will, financial investment, and attention. Players include:
- Latoya Abbott, Risk Management & Global Senior Director Occupational Health Services, Marriott International
- Sofia Borges, Senior Vice President, UN Foundation
- Brad Connett, President, U.S. Medical Group, Henry Schein, Inc.
- Christopher Elias, President, Global Development division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Tim Evans, Former Senior Director of Health, World Bank Group
- George Gao, Director-General, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Avril Haines, Former Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency; Former Deputy National Security Advisor
- Jane Halton, Board member, ANZ Bank; Former Secretary of Finance & Former Secretary of Health, Australia
- Matthew Harrington, Global Chief Operations Officer, Edelman
- Martin Knuchel, Head of Crisis, Emergency and Business Continuity Management, Lufthansa Group Airlines
- Eduardo Martinez, President, The UPS Foundation
- Stephen Redd, Deputy Director for Public Health Service and Implementation Science, US CDC
- Hasti Taghi, Vice President & Executive Advisor, NBCUniversal Media
- Adrian Thomas, Vice President, Global Public Health, Johnson & Johnson
- Lavan Thiru, Chief Representative, Monetary Authority of Singapore
“Outbreaks of infectious disease are inevitable, but the economic damage they cause is not,” said Ryan Morhard, project lead for Global Health Security at the World Economic Forum. “Sustained attention from a broad multistakeholder coalition is needed in advance of a severe pandemic to save lives and minimize economic and societal consequences.”
Chris Elias, president of global development at the Gates Foundation, noted that “Event 201 and its predecessor simulations like Clade X are crucial tools to understand not only what is needed to effectively respond to global public health crises, but also the consequences of what happens when we are not prepared.”
The exercise is supported by funding from the Open Philanthropy Project.
EVENT 201 IS A FICTIONAL EXERCISE AND DISEASE
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About the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security:
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security works to protect people from epidemics and disasters and build resilient communities through innovative scholarship, engagement, and research that strengthens the organizations, systems, policies, and programs essential to preventing and responding to public health crises. The Center is part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is located in Baltimore, MD.
About the World Economic Forum:
As the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation, the World Economic Forum is committed to managing risks associated with emerging infectious diseases of epidemic and pandemic potential through innovative, cross-industry, and cross-sectoral public-private cooperation, strengthening national and global health security. Via the Forum’s Epidemics Readiness Accelerator, more than 100 stakeholders are addressing challenges associated with public-private cooperation relied upon for effective readiness. The 2019 Global Risk Report describes the transformation of biological risks, and the 2019 report, “Outbreak Readiness and Business Impact,” helps companies properly understand risks, enabling them to reduce their exposure, improve their resilience, and deliver on key opportunities for public-private cooperation to strengthen global health security.
About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
Editor’s note: RSVP and receive information about camera and recording limitations. Video, graphics, audio, photos and interviews will be available immediately after the exercise. See Event 201 media advisory and other materials.
Director of Communications
Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security