Operation Crimson Contagion (HHS Plandemic Drill From Jan. To Aug. 2019)

1. Crimson Contagion: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Seal of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Crimson Contagion was a joint exercise conducted from January to August 2019, in which numerous national, state and local, private and public organizations in the US participated, in order to test the capacity of the federal government and twelve states to respond to a severe pandemic of influenza originating in China.

The simulation, which was conducted months prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, involves a scenario in which tourists returning from China spread a respiratory virus in the United States, beginning in Chicago. In less than two months the virus had infected 110 million Americans, killing more than half a million. The report issued at the conclusion of the exercise outlines the government’s limited capacity to respond to a pandemic, with federal agencies lacking the funds, coordination, and resources to facilitate an effective response to the virus.[1][2]

1 Scenario
2 Key findings
3 State participants
4 References
5 External links


Between January and August 2019, Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), headed by Alex Azar, runs a simulation—code-named “Crimson Contagion”. In this “Functional Exercise”, participated the National Security Council, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Commerce, United States Department of Defense, United States Department of Energy, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, United States Department of Interior, United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Labor, United States Department of State, United States Department of Transportation, United States Department of Treasury, between others State and Local organizations, public and private.

During the simulation, several tourists fall ill with a “respiratory virus [that] began in China . . . [and] quickly spread around the world by air travelers . . . [with] high fevers.” The virus spreads quickly throughout the world with the first detection in the United States occurring in Chicago (the host city for the exercise). The simulated virus was dubbed “H7N9 Influenza”. Conduct of Crimson Contagion begins at a point 47 days after the first case is discovered in the United States. According to the results of the coordinating draft report, dated October 2019, the Crimson Contagion simulation registers 110 million infected Americans, 7.7 million hospitalizations, and 586,000 fatalities.[3]
Key findings

Federal government lacks sufficient funding to respond to a severe influenza pandemic.
Exercise participants lacked clarity on the roles of different federal agencies, and what information was important to pass on to federal partners.
HHS had issues providing accurate and relevant information to hospitals and other public health organizations.
Confusion between HHS, FEMA, and the Department of Homeland Security on which federal agency would take the lead in the crisis.
The United States lacks the production capacity to meet the demands for protective equipment and medical devices such as masks and ventilators imposed by a pandemic.
States were unable to efficiently request resources due to the lack of a standardized request process.[4]

State participants

New Hampshire
New Mexico
New York
South Carolina


“Coronavirus Outbreak: A Cascade of Warnings, Heard but Unheeded”. The New York Times. 2020-03-19. Retrieved 2020-03-25.
Stracqualursi, Veronica (2020-03-19). “New York Times: HHS’ pandemic simulation showed how US was ill prepared for coronavirus”. CNN. Retrieved 2020-03-25.

Moseley, Carol Marin & Don (2020-03-24). “‘Crimson Contagion 2019’ Simulation Warned of Pandemic Implications in US”. NBC Chicago. Retrieved 2020-03-25.

External links

Crimson Contagion 2019 US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response


COVID-19 pandemic


COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

Disaster preparedness in the United StatesPandemics2019 in the United States

This page was last edited on 14 February 2021, at 15:38 (UTC).
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2. ‘Crimson Contagion 2019′ Simulation Warned of Pandemic Implications in US (March 24, 2020)

‘Crimson Contagion 2019′ Simulation Warned of Pandemic Implications in US

By Carol Marin & Don Moseley • Published March 24, 2020 • Updated on March 24, 2020 at 5:24 pm
flu virus
University of Wisconsin

Using genes resurrected from the 1918 Spanish influenza virus, the virus responsible for a pandemic that killed an estimated 20 million…

In Chicago, back in August 2019, federal agencies conducted a mock drill to see how the nation would handle a pandemic, specifically a deadly global outbreak with no known cure. The exercise pointed to a number of national shortcomings, including an insufficient amount of medical supplies.

It is called the ‘Crimson Contagion 2019 Functional Exercise’ and is marked not for distribution. The New York Times was the first to report and publish it.

This was an exercise about the flu, not the coronavirus, but the document points to specific problematic areas for a hypothetical outbreak that, prophetically, begins in China and lands in Chicago.

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On August 13, in Illinois and 11 states from Arizona to Connecticut, federal, state and local officials began the four-day exercise.

The Scenario:

A large-scale outbreak of novel influenza begins in China and quickly spreads, first detected in Chicago in the U.S. and grows to pandemic proportion by human-to-human contact.

Stockpiled vaccines, per the exercise, are not a direct match to contain the virus.

Involved in the national test were:

19 federal agencies

12 states

74 local health departments

87 hospitals

According to the report, officials at the National Security Council in the White House were briefed during the exercise.

Among the key findings:

Insufficient federal funding sources for a severe influenza pandemic

Confusion on how to apply the Defense Production Act

The current medical supply chain and production capacity could not meet the demand

Global manufacturing would be unable to meet the domestic demand for personal protective equipment and ancillary supplies

Dr. Allison Arwady was intimately involved in the exercise and ratcheted up Chicago’s preparedness as a result. She had no comment on whether the feds took the same actions the city did.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot was blunt in a telephone briefing with reporters.

“It is clear to me the federal government will not help us,” she said. “They are not the cavalry.”

The Chicago Department of Public Health, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, as well as the state Health Department and Emergency Management Agency, took part in the exercise.

Though both the report and Dr. Arwady commend many federal agencies for working together and devising response strategies, the pandemic exercise predicted dire consequences–110 million illnesses, 7.7 million hospitalizations and 586,000 deaths, all in the U.S. in the absence of a coordinated national response.