• New York Notes Dramatic Increase in COVID-19 Numbers as Trump Mulls Lifting Restrictions Soon

    Yesterday New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the COVID-19 pandemic case count is doubling every 3 days in his state, as the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the United States could become the next epicenter of the novel coronavirus, given that the country accounted for 40 percent of new cases recorded globally over the past 24 hours. Meanwhile, yesterday in the Rose Garden, President Donald Trump told viewers during a Fox News virtual town hall that he wants the country “opened up and raring to go by Easter Sunday,” which this year falls on 12 April.

  • Surgeon General on COVID-19: “This Week It's Going to Get Bad”

    Yesterday the Surgeon General of the United States, Jerome Adams, MD, said on the Today Show that this week could get bad for many Americans who will face a growing rise of COVID-19 cases in their communities. Confirmed U.S. cases rose by 9,541 yesterday, to 42,817, according to the Johns Hopkins online tracker, with 458 associated deaths.

  • We Were Warned

    When, inevitably, an investigative commission will be set up to investigate the government’s response to COVID-19 crisis, it will conclude that signs of a coming crisis were everywhere. Uri Friedman writes that President Donald Trump has referred to the coronavirus outbreak as “an unforeseen problem,” as “something that nobody expected,” and as a crisis that “came out of nowhere,” but as is so often the case with Trump, he was not telling the truth. In fact, the investigative commission will conclude that the warning lights were blinking red for years, within the government and outside the government. Despite the warning lights, the voluminous studies, and the alarming reports from the U.S. intelligence community, the U.S. government was not sufficiently prepared when the virus SARS-CoV-2, finally came calling.

  • Where Is Helmut Schmidt When We Need Him?

    Helmut Schmidt came to the attention of Germans, and Europeans, in February 1962, when he competently and effectively managed the crisis which followed the massive flood which inundated the city of Hamburg. His determined, unbureaucratic, and effective management of the crisis earned him the reputation of a Macher — someone who gets things done regardless of obstacles. This reputation carried him all the way to the chancellorship (1974-1982). He was a competent, low-key, trustworthy straight shooter who told it like it is. Someone who offered a calm, steady, and reassuring leadership in trying times. A pair of safe hands in a time of crisis. On Wednesday, the title of an editorial in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung told us something about the mood, and yearnings, in Germany – and around the world: “Wer ist heute der Helmut Schmidt?” (Who Is Today’s Helmut Schmidt?).

     

  • Modeling Study Suggests 18 Months of COVID-19 Social Distancing, Much Disruption

    On 16 March, when White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, MD, stood beside President Donald Trump and announced the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” campaign, she said guidance on home isolation was informed by the latest models from the United Kingdom. Birx was likely referring to a new modeling study by Imperial College of London epidemiologists on likely U.S. and U.K. outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The model, which has been lauded by epidemiologists around the world, analyzes the two approaches to managing the virus – mitigation vs suppression.

  • Wuhan Reports No New Coronavirus Cases for First Time

    The Chinese city at the center of the coronavirus pandemic has for the first time reported no new daily cases, reporting Thursday that there were no new cases Wednesday. Wuhan has spent about two months on lockdown as authorities tried to stop the spread of the virus, and in recent weeks the number of new infections there dwindled.

  • COVID-19: Imperial College Researchers’ Model Likely Influenced Public Health Measures

    The latest analysis comes from a team modelling the spread and impact COVID-19 and whose data are informing current U,K, government policy on the pandemic. The findings are published in the 9th report from the WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Modelling within the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, J-IDEA, Imperial College London.

  • 10 Misconceptions about the 1918 Flu, the “Greatest Pandemic in History”

    Pandemic is a scary word, but the world has seen pandemics before, and worse ones, too. Consider the influenza pandemic of 1918, often referred to erroneously as the “Spanish flu.” Misconceptions about it may be fueling unfounded fears about COVID-19, and now is an especially good time to correct them.

  • Experts Agree that Trump’s Coronavirus Response Was Poor, but the U.S. Was Ill-Prepared in the First Place

    As the coronavirus pandemic exerts a tighter grip on the nation, critics of the Trump administration have repeatedly highlighted the administration’s changes to the nation’s pandemic response team in 2018 as a major contributor to the current crisis. This combines with a hiring freeze at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leaving hundreds of positions unfilled. The administration also has repeatedly sought to reduce CDC funding by billions of dollars. Experts agree that the slow and uncoordinated response has been inadequate and has likely failed to mitigate the coming widespread outbreak in the U.S. However, it is also important to acknowledge that we have underfunded our public health system for decades, perpetuated a poorly working health care system and failed to bring our social safety nets in line with other developed nations.

  • Better – and Broader – Contingency Plans

    Life, they say, is uncertain. This is why governments and businesses make contingency plans that detail what to do in a disaster and how to handle the unexpected. But some events can be catastrophic across a region, and that calls for a more comprehensive approach.

  • DHS S&T, BIRD Foundation Announce Awards for Advanced Homeland Security Technologies

    The Israel – U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation the other day announced three awards for collaborative projects totaling $2.3 million to develop advanced technologies for the homeland security mission.

  • DHS Listed Climate Activist Group as “Extremists” Alongside Mass Killers

    A group of environmental activists engaged in civil disobedience targeting the oil industry have been listed in internal Department of Homeland Security documents as “extremists” and some of its members listed alongside white nationalists and mass killers. Those listed are five members of Climate Direct Action who formed what has been dubbed the Valve Turners, after closing the valves on pipelines in four states carrying crude oil from Canada’s tar sands on 11 October 2016. It was described as the largest coordinated action of its kind and for a few hours the oil stopped flowing.

  • DHS Begins MPP Returns at Nogales Port of Entry in Arizona

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that on Thursday it started processing migrants for return to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) at the Nogales Port of Entry south of Tucson, Arizona. This brings the total number of ports of entry where MPP returns will be made to seven.

  • This Was the Year That Was

    Below we offer the Homeland Security News Wire’s list of what we consider to be the ten most important, or telling, security stories, developments, and trends of 2019. The list is not exhaustive or comprehensive, but rather selective and suggestive. Others may compile different lists. The topics of the stories on the list represent what the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities consider to be the most pressing security threats to the United States, among them (not in order of importance): Terrorism, especially far-right and lone-wolf terrorism; cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and ransomware; the security and economic threats posed by climate change; China’s drive to infiltrate Western countries’ communication infrastructure; Russia’s effective attacks on liberal democracies; Iran’s march toward the bomb and toward achieving regional hegemony; and North Korea’s uninterrupted production of weapon-grade fissile material and more advanced missiles.

  • Closing a Critical Gap in Cybersecurity

    Last year, following the rising threats in cyberspace, Congress established the U.S. first civilian cybersecurity agency—the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Christopher Krebs, who serves as the first director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), writes that “Unfortunately, too often we come across cybersecurity vulnerabilities sitting on the public internet and are unable to act because we cannot identify the owner of the vulnerable system.”