Like all New Yorkers, the anger inside us is real & has been growing. We just can’t see this great city reduced to a micro version of what we had read about Stalingrad in WW II. A large proud city, a vibrant symbol of America, reduced to an barren city with people cowering inside their apartments & buildings all because of an attack from foreign shores & because of the incomprehensible incompetence of both NY City & NY State management.
Heck, 9/11 which we lived through was nothing like this. NYC came through that because of its leadership, first Mayor Rudi Giuliani who was a public pillar of strength & then Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Giuliani embodied the fighting spirit of New York & then in a 12-year period, Bloomberg established infrastructure to ensure something like 9/11 could never happen again. That spirit, dedication & the science of implementation was nowhere to be found in this CoronaVirus attack.
Until this week! The best news we heard was that Mayor Bloomberg was back & committed to eradicating this CoronaVirus & ensuring it never comes back. With him, comes the School of Public Health of John Hopkins University, consulting firms like Vital Strategies & NY universities like CUNY & SUNY.
And he is going to do exactly the correct thing & that with an army of contact tracers to isolate the virus. Listen to him yourself:
9/11 to Anti-Terrorism Task Force; Now CoronaVirus to Anti-Pandemic Task Force?
Remember what Mayor Bloomberg built & staffed within the NY Police Department to ensure another 9/11 does not happen again? Instead of relying only on the Federal Anti-Terrorism apparatus within the CIA, Pentagon & other departments, Mayor Bloomberg created a NY anti-terrorism task force. This task force actually hired, trained & then based its members in troubled Middle Eastern lands to get early intelligence about terrorist plots being hatched against New York. As we recall, this task force developed a superb reputation for its capabilities & for its ability to work with the Federal Anti-Terrorism efforts.
This is exactly what we need in New York City going forward. After winning this current & horrendously damaging battle against CoronaVirus, we cannot afford to remain only defensive against future threats. New York is the most global of all cities & people from everywhere in the world come to New York. That is a good thing but we simply cannot allow these viruses to come with them.
This requires, like 9/11, a focused task force within NY Public Health system that bases its people in all the areas in the world that seem to generate & propagate viruses beginning with China. Make no mistake. China is not going to open its labs & co-operate with USA any more than Al Qaida did. So a NY Anti-Pandemic task force will have to have members skilled in infiltrating Chinese labs, Chinese universities to get early warning type information. This task force will also have to build explicit or even covert links with scientists & academics in US Universities who work with China to get early warning signals.
Fortunately, unlike 9/11, CoronaVirus has damaged virtually the entire world. So the NY task force we envisage could build links with researchers & scientists in countries around the world & especially in Chinese neighborhood. Remember the One Belt One Road initiative of China’s President Xi? Every one of those countries is now afraid of China exporting CoronaVirus through this belt & road. What a fertile ground for collecting information about China?
This is not a small or a simple exercise. The vision has to be big, very big & the implementation has to be bigger. Just as NY swore to not allow a repeat of 9/11, today’s NY has to take an oath to never allow another pandemic to attack our city as CoronaVirus did.
As we said, this is neither small nor simple. Had it been so, we would not have needed Mayor Bloomberg to lead it.
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