World Leaders Gather to Discuss Disease X

( – One of the sessions scheduled for this year’s annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland will tackle Disease X, Fortune reported.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Disease X is the name assigned to any possible pathogen “unknown to cause human disease” that could spark a “serious international epidemic.”

The session titled “Preparing for Disease X” will be moderated by Politico Europe editor-in-chief Jamil Edmond Anderlini and will feature WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, AstraZeneca Chairman of the Board Michel Demaré, Brazil’s Minister of Health Nisia Trindade Lima, and others.

Unsurprisingly, social media seized on the session title, with right-wing users accusing the WEF of convening the session to discuss imposing vaccine mandates and even suggesting that the session was aimed at planning the next pandemic.

Former Trump administration official Monica Crowley claimed on Twitter that the WEF was holding a session on a “new contagion” that would allow them to bring back lockdowns and “destroy more freedoms” “just in time for an election.”

However, Johns Hopkins senior scholar Dr. Amesh Adalja told Fortune that public health officials and medical professionals conduct “thought experiments and tabletop exercises” all the time to prepare for possible pandemics.

Dr. Adalja said such exercises are vital in “identifying strengths and weaknesses” and “highlighting important aspects of response” that might need refinement. He described the conspiracy theories as “brazen pandering.”

Dr. Stuart Ray with the Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine told Fortune that coordinating the public health response to a pandemic is not a conspiracy but “responsible planning.” He said it would be “irresponsible” if world leaders did not discuss a possible future pandemic at the forum.

Dr. Ray explained that the recent pandemic showed that a rapid response “ can save millions of lives.” He said meetings like the session at the WEF should be publicized since planning for a future pandemic should require oversight combined with an “appreciation” for the impact on “personal and economic freedom.”

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