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Question: Ebola in the US


Ebola is a highly infectious virus that spreads through bodily fluids (World Health Organization). The disease, which started in West Africa, has killed more than 4000 people in Africa and one person in the United States in 2014. The situation implies that if the current rate of infection persists, it might spread to other countries and continents fast. The World Health Organization has outlined that the best way to manage Ebola is to tackle it from the source. However, the global response has not been sufficient. Homeland security: Given your Group Project, the new Ebola Czar, Ron Klain, appointed by POTUS on Friday, October 17th has contacted you…’,’Question 1: Given your Group Project, the new Ebola Czar, Ron Klain, appointed by POTUS on Friday, October 17th has contacted you about helping him with his new assignment. Your report has been circulated around the Administration. After review, some officials recognize that your report contains some effective ideas to address the epidemic, especially in the US. From what you’ve seen on the news and what you provided in your 90-day research project, what is going right? What’s going badly? What would you recommend that the new Ebola Czar do immediately? What are your long-term suggestions? You now know more about Ebola than you did 3 months ago. Are there changes you would make to your report? Question 2: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently celebrated its 10th anniversary of existence. The creation of DHS combined 22 former agencies with over 180,000 people into the largest restructuring in the government since President Truman formed the Department of Defense (DoD) in 1947. In many ways, DHS is the most visible USG response to the terrorist threat; however, it also must deal with natural disasters that impact homeland security. Rumors persist that many government officials continue to consider taking a critical, second look at the organizational composition of DHS. Does the DHS organization need a significant “redo.”? One of the goals for creating DHS was to improve the overall security/safety of the US critical infrastructure. DHS performance during several natural and man-made events (Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the underwear bomber, TSA issues, etc.) has resulted in suggested reviews of the current organizational composition and structure. The next major incident looming on the horizon is a potential for an epidemic in the US as a result of the Ebola virus. Such an event would have severe impact on our critical infrastructure. Is DHS prepared for such a major, wide-spread incident that could disrupt our food supply, impact transportation, overwhelm the health care sector, disrupt the banking system, etc.? What three actions should senior DHS officials take to prepare for these impacts to our critical infrastructure? (Hint: Don’t just list the three actions. Explain why you picked each and provide some sources to validate your choices.

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