CDC Says Pandemic Drills Hone Decision-making Tools

Before a large-scale exercise conducted earlier this month, the
agency set up a "planning cell" of leaders who were insulated from the need to
respond immediately to events so they could think carefully about policy issues
raised by the emergency, officials said. In the exercise, on Mar 11 and 12, the
new group made a noticeable impact on the CDC’s ability to make decisions,
according to Dr. Richard Besser, director of the CDC’s Coordinating Office for
Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response.

"One thing I was struck by was that we did a much better job of
reaching decisions quickly, and it’s critical that in a crisiswe do that,"
Besser said in a recent interview about the results of the exercise.

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