By Sheila Kaplan
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has decided to postpone its session on nuclear attack preparedness next week. Much attention had been drawn to the timing of the agency’s session, which was publicized just days after President Trump touted the size of his nuclear button compared with North Korea’s.
Late Friday afternoon, the C.D.C. announced that it had changed its mind about next Tuesday’s topic, making a last-minute revision to reflect concerns about cases of severe flu.
The C.D.C.’s announcement that it was holding a nuclear preparation workshop drew widespread media coverage and embarrassed the public health agency. It also gave ammunition to administration critics who believe that the president is bringing the country closer to a nuclear Armageddon.
“While a nuclear detonation is unlikely,” the C.D.C. wrote on its website,which included a picture of a mushroom cloud, “it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps. Despite the fear surrounding such an event, planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness.”
The agenda for the disaster session included “Preparing for the Unthinkable,” “Road Map to Radiation Preparedness” and “Using Data and Decision Aids to Drive Response Efforts.”
The replacement program, also next Tuesday, features sessions on “Chasing Flu,” “The Problem of H3N2” and “Mitigating Influenza With Vaccines and Antivirals.”
The C.D.C. said that the nuclear survival program would be rescheduled.