October 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 be the cause of an average annual economic loss of 0.7% of global GDP—or $570 billion.
Event 201, played by 15 leaders of businesses, governments, 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.
“In addition to challenging health and 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.”
“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
Editor’s note: RSVP for a confirmed seat, information about camera and recording limitations; access same day to video, graphics, audio, photos and interviews. See Event 201 media advisory and other materials.