The situation above is a simulation by Johns Hopkins University. They wanted to see how policy experts and the government would react in the event of a virus run amok. The players included people with real-world experience in making similar decisions.
Tom Daschle: former Senate Majority Leader
Susan Brooks (R-IN): current member of Congress
Julie Gerberding: former CDC Director
Jeffrey Smith: former CIA legal counsel
Tara O’Toole: former Undersecretary at DHS
Margaret Hamburg: former Commissioner of the FDA
Jamie Gorelick: former Deputy Attorney General
Jim Talent (R-MO): former US Representative and Senator
John Bellinger: former Legal Advisor to the US State Department and the National Security Council
Over the course of the simulation, John Hopkins demonstrated the ease with which a new virus could kill 150 million people within a year. But the creator of the exercise told Business Insider in an interview that he believes that number is low and that the real tally could be closer to 900 million deaths.