Universe of Threats – Pathogen Threat Contest
The COVID-19 pandemic killed millions of people and wreaked social and economic havoc worldwide. The last three years revealed catastrophic deficiencies in our surveillance systems, pandemic playbooks, and ability to anticipate political, social and economic interdependencies that amplified the threat.
CAPTRS is tackling the failure of imagination that plagued our response to COVID-19. We are building a catalog of pathogen threat scenarios that will be used to hone pandemic preparedness strategies and train future decision makers. The catalog will include a wide range of plausible threats, including hypothetical pathogens and cascading global events, far beyond those we have experienced in the past. This is the first of three essay contests we will run in 2023. We will launch a contest this summer on the topic of critical infrastructure and supplies, and another contest in the fall on the topic of natural disasters, including wildfires and floods.