'As you sleep, the corona epidemic is spreading'

'During the pandemic crisis, be resilient and plan for the next time,' says presidential historian and former White House aide Tevi Troy.

Israel News Talk Radio ,

Coronavirus lockdown in Catania
Coronavirus lockdown in Catania

The coronavirus pandemic has upset normal life, isolating and unnerving literally hundreds of millions in more than 192 countries. The epicenter has moved from Italy, Spain, France and the UK, to the US.

Rod Bryant and Jerry Gordon reached out to discuss these issues with Tevi Troy, presidential historian, former US Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, and member of a presidential bipartisan ‘blue ribbon’ panel on bioterrorism who was a Bush 43 White House aide.

He is the author of several books on the presidency, notably, “Shall We Wake the President? Two Centuries of Disaster Management from the Oval Office” (2016) and “Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump.”

In his 2016 “Shall We Wake the President?” Troy predicted the conundrum we currently face with the coronavirus threat. “I was raising this issue of coronavirus and I said, we have vaccines and countermeasures and antivirals for flu, but we do not have them for coronavirus, and we need to develop them. I don’t know why the US government hasn’t moved faster on that. I think that there are larger issues at play in terms of prioritizing development of countermeasures.”

Because of his membership in a presidential bioterror panel co-led by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and former Connecticut US Senator Joseph Lieberman, he emphasizes the importance of “tabletop” simulation exercises - something that Israel practices in developing national security strategies and policies.

Troy is skeptical of government’s ability to help the individual in the time frame in which the help would be required. “I think that the government has an important role to play, but individuals must also prepare for disasters and cannot count on the government to bail them out when they are in trouble.”