Terrorism: BioAttack-A Fred Friendly Seminar



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Terrorism: BioAttack—A Fred Friendly Seminar (57:00)
Item# 34820
©2005

One of the most dreaded weapons in the terrorist’s arsenal can be delivered in a paper envelope. Vividly exploring situations that public officials, health care workers, and law enforcement personnel would have to confront in the event of a biological attack, a panel of experts wrestles with questions that have gone largely unanswered in the public record: Who among America’s leadership is in charge of the response? Who gets medical treatment, and who decides? Must the affected city be quarantined? Will people be prohibited from leaving? Moderated by ABC News Chief Legal Correspondent Cynthia McFadden, this Fred Friendly Seminar lays bare the central issues of homeland security and the possibility that a biological attack would turn America into a much different place overnight. Additional resources are located online at www.pbs.org/inthebalance/terrorism. (57 minutes)


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Segments in this Video - (13)

1. Hypothetical Terrorist Attack (04:56)
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A hypothetical videotape reveals a potential bioattack. Experts share their reactions to the video as if it were real, demonstrating the thought processes of official responders.

2. Government vs. Journalism (03:33)

Government officials and journalists discuss the importance of an anonymous video that contains terrorist information. Is the threat credible? Is it preventable?

3. Homeland Security Actions (02:39)

A government official describes the sequence of actions taken after notification of a potential terrorist attack. What happens when the news is leaked to the press and to the American public?

4. Military and Economic Infrastructure (03:45)

The military provides input about the terrorist attack scenario. Military leaders hear about the attack from the media before the government. Shutting down facilities requires careful consideration.

5. BioAttack: Is It the Plague? (05:04)

In a hypothetical situation, a mysterious flu is pandemic. Is it the plague? The Department of Health and the CDC become involved. A terrorist bioattack is suspected.

6. Emergency Room and BioAttack (03:36)

Hospitals are required to have at least one isolation room. In a simulation exercise, a patient is enraged because she cannot get out of a potentially contaminated emergency room.

7. Mass Hysteria (03:05)

Information is an antitote to hysteria. An infected patient may be isolated if the public health is at risk.

8. Emergency Response to Plague (07:02)

Antibiotics are distributed in a suspected plague caused by bioterroism. There are not enough epidemiologists. Experts discuss how information will be communicated to the public.

9. Public Awareness and the Plague (04:52)

Experts discuss emergency response measures. Communicating with the public takes careful planning to quell panic and to provide instructions. Antibiotics are the first line of defense.

10. BioAttack and Infectious Diseases (02:31)

Diseases Government officials and journalists discuss the importance of an anonymous video that contains terrorist information. Is the threat credible? Is it preventable?

11. Infectious Disease Control (03:29)

People leave their city when they hear about the bioattack. Officials want to quarantine. Human resources are stretched. There is no way to completely control what people do.

12. Plague Management (05:54)

Quick assessments discern between flu patients and plague patients. Antibiotics arrive. Some people panic. Hospital staff evaluates patients' contacts with other sick people.

13. Disaster Preparedness (03:04)

A panelist suggests that America's youth be trained to assist in the event of a bioattack. Information itself is of central importance in a disaster.



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