There were many events that took place that set the stage for the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. The following is a summary of the developments that took place from 2001-2017. Many of the same individuals, organizations, and government entities were involved in past legislation, initiatives, and events that helped shape the world we now live in.
June 22-23: The Dark Winter exercise portrayed a fictional scenario depicting a covert smallpox attack on US citizens. The scenario is set in 3 successive NSC meetings that take place over 2 weeks. The exercise was held at Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, DC. The entire script for the meetings can be found here. An excellent video overview can be found here.
September: Letters containing spores of the deadly bioweapon Anthrax were mailed to several news media offices and to Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. The attacks killed five people and infected 17 others. Suspects were tied to biodefense labs in Fort Detrick, Maryland. The investigation took years and the main suspect committed suicide in 2008. In the weeks following the Anthrax attacks, the Bush administration led an urgent push in biodefense both by expanding past programs and forging new initiatives. By 2002, biodefense spending spiked above $4 billion, nearly an order of magnitude above the $633 million spent the year before.
October 23: Drafted for the Centers for Disease Control by academicians from the Center for Law and the Public’s Health at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities, the so-called Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA) was released on October 23, 2001. Drafted as a way to respond to bioterrorist attacks after 9/11, the MSEHPA included sweeping draconian State legislation including mandatory vaccination, tracking and sharing individual personal health and genetic information, mobilizing organized militia’s to enforce state’s orders and many more.
November: In what was first diagnosed as atypical pneumonia, an outbreak of an illness later named SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) began in the Guangdong province of China. The viral disease (a type of coronavirus) spread to 26 countries with over 8,000 cases and 774 reported deaths. The virus was contained by July 2003 by implementing strict quarantines and international cooperation.
The television series “The Dead Zone” aired an episode entitled “Plague” depicting circumstances eerily similar to the current COVID-19 “pandemic”.
The Project Bioshield Act was an act passed by the United States Congress in 2004 calling for $5 billion for purchasing vaccines that would be used in the event of a bioterrorist attack. This was a ten-year program to acquire medical countermeasures to biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear agents for civilian use. A key element of the Act was to allow stockpiling and distribution of vaccines which had not been tested for safety or efficacy in humans, due to ethical concerns.
January 14: Atlantic Storm was a ministerial table-top exercise convened by the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the Center for Transatlantic Relations of the Johns Hopkins University, and the Transatlantic Biosecurity Network. The exercise used a fictitious scenario designed to mimic a summit of transatlantic leaders forced to respond to a bioterrorist attack.
December: The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREPA), passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President of the United States George W. Bush in December 2005, is a controversial liability shield intended to protect vaccine manufacturers from financial risk in the event of a declared public health emergency. A PREP Act declaration (effective February 4th 2020) was issued to provide liability immunity for activities related to medical countermeasures against COVID-19.
In a paper titled “Targeted Social Distancing Designs for Pandemic Influenza” published in CDC’s Emerging and Infectious Diseases journal, the plan for social distancing during a pandemic was presented.
May: In a meeting of billionaires including David Rockefeller, Jr., Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner, and Oprah Winfrey (dubbed The Good Club) discussions were held on the topics of health care, education and slowing global population growth.
2010Rockefeller Foundation-Lockstep Plan
A 2010 Rockefeller Report entitled “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development” prescribes scenarios to handle a pandemic. The ‘Lock Step’ scenario depicts almost an exact replica of the draconian procedures taken around the globe to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Dubbed “The Decade of Vaccines” and spearheaded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation a partnership is formed with global organizations and public health leaders including Dr. Anthony Fauci. $10 billion was committed to vaccine development over the next 10 years.
Bill Gates conducted a TED Talk titled “Innovating to Zero” in which he stated,
when we are doing a real good job [referring to vaccination], we may be able to reduce the world population by 10% to 15%.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services published its National Adult Immunization Plan. The plan outlined the goals to improve access to adult vaccines and increase community demand for adult immunizations among others.
April 30: U.S. Strategic Command developed a comprehensive plan to undertake military operations to preserve ‘non-zombie’ humans from the threats posed by a zombie horde. CONOP 8888, otherwise known as “Counter-Zombie Dominance” is a 31-page document outlining how to protect America from a terrorist attack carried out by zombie forces. Zombie disaster drills were held in 2012 following a string of bizarre incidents involving ‘face chewing’, ‘intestine throwing’ and ‘brain eating’. The five-phase plan to restore authority includes, (1) shape, (2) deter, (3) seize initiative, (4) dominate, (5) stabilize and restore civil authority.
May 2011: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a Zombie Preparedness campaign. Acknowledging that zombies are associated with those infected with viruses the CDC created an entire kit including a poster, graphic novel, educational tools, and a blog to promote preparedness.
January: USNORTHCOM Branch Plan 3560 warned of the potential for a coronavirus pandemic and outlined a planned coordinated response involving many federal agencies. The report raised the alarm about a shortage of medical equipment and hospital beds should a pandemic occur.
January: Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted that President Trump might have to deal with a pandemic situation during his tenure saying,
“There is no question that there will be a challenge to the coming administration in the arena of infectious diseases…also there will be a surprise outbreak”
October: The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security Center’s SPARS Pandemic exercise narrative comprised a futuristic scenario that illustrated communication dilemmas concerning medical countermeasures (MCMs) that could plausibly emerge in the not-so-distant future.The SPARS Scenario featured an outbreak of the novel SPARS coronavirus first identified in a major US city in 2025. Over a 3-year period, the virus spreads to every US state and more than 40 countries, where case fatality rates vary depending on the capabilities of local health systems.
May 15: The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted the Clade X pandemic tabletop exercise in Washington, DC. The purpose of the exercise was to illustrate high-level strategic decisions and policies that the United States and the world will need to pursue in order to prevent a pandemic or diminish its consequences should prevention fail.