The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will hold a training and information session this month to help professionals prepare for the prospects of nuclear war.
The CDC’s January 16 session will be called “Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation.” The event will be held in the CDC’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
“While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps,” the CDC says on the event page. “Despite the fear surrounding such an event, planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness. For instance, most people don’t realize that sheltering in place for at least 24 hours is crucial to saving lives and reducing exposure to radiation.”
The CDC adds: “While federal, state, and local agencies will lead the immediate response efforts, public health will play a key role in responding.”
Some of the talks are titled, “Preparing for the Unthinkable,” “Roadmap to Radiation Preparedness,” and “Using Data and Decision Aids to Drive Response Efforts.”
According to Bay Area public radio station KQED, the target audience includes doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, pharmacists, veterinarians, certified health education specialists, and laboratory scientists.
Talk of a nuclear threat is in the air amidst escalating rhetoric from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who delivered a speech on New Year’s Day where he threatened, “The entire mainland of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear weapons, and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office.”
President Donald Trump tauntingly responded to Kim’s speech, writing that he had his own nuclear button and that it was “much bigger” and “more powerful” than his. “And my button works!” Trump tweeted:
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Despite escalated rhetoric, the prospects of nuclear war breaking out between North Korea and the United States are still slim. But the CDC still wants to be ready — just in case.