19 March 2020

Dear NSF Friends and Family,

The National Security Forum recognizes that we are all living in challenging times with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread both at home and abroad. Our thoughts and gratitude go out to the dedicated members of our community working on the frontlines of the pandemic that are providing for and protecting our community during this difficult time. We are especially grateful to all the healthcare professionals, Federal, state and local officials, and critical businesses that are staying open and working hard to protect us, our families, and our community.

NSF is adjusting our programs and events to comply with Governor Sisolak’s order to close all non-essential businesses in Nevada and the CDC guidelines to limit gatherings to under 10 people. The NSF is canceling our in-person meeting scheduled for 16 April and will evaluate holding future in-person events as circumstances warrant.

In order to continue to keep you informed about critical national security issues, we are implementing a virtual program-hosting capability for our meetings starting in April. I will send a follow-up email next week with program details and login information for our first on-line program in April. Transitioning to online programs will allow us to keep our NSF community informed and engaged during this challenging time.

The COVID-19 pandemic is moving very quickly in the United States and abroad. As of today, the United States has over 10,000 cases and 150 deaths. The death rate in Italy has just passed that of China and the United States and Europe are implementing drastic measures to shut down international and domestic travel. One piece of good news today is that China reported no new cases yesterday. However, there are concerns of resurgent outbreaks in China and other Asian countries such as South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore that have seen significant decreases in COVID-19 cases over the last few weeks.

For those of you who missed Dr. Jim Wilson’s very enlightening presentation to NSF on COVID-19, the video of his talk and Q/A are posted on the NSF website (scroll down on the landing page): https://nationalsecurityforum.org

As you seek information about COVID-19 on the internet, please keep in mind that some news sources are legitimate, but many are not. We recommend that you rely only on trusted news sources and federal agency guidelines and be skeptical of news stories where the source is unknown or appears to be mimicking a known site. A few trusted sources are given below:

Federal Agency Links:

News and analysis sources:

WARNING! There is vastly more disinformation being passed around on the internet than factual information. DO NOT BE DUPED. Below are a few examples of the ongoing Disinformation Campaign. This list was provided by Mike Mathews (DHS/CISA) Protective Security Agent for Nevada (and our January NSF speaker).

Article Title URL
Russia deploying coronavirus disinformation to sow panic in West, EU document says https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-disinformation/russia-deploying-coronavirus-disinformation-to-sow-panic-in-west-eu-document-says-idUSKBN21518F
Here’s A Running List Of The Latest Hoaxes Spreading About The Coronavirus https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/janelytvynenko/coronavirus-fake-news-disinformation-rumors-hoaxes
Be Wary of Those Texts From a Friend of a Friend’s Aunt https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/us/coronavirus-text-messages-national-quarantine.html
False coronavirus rumors surge in ‘hidden viral’ text messages https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/false-coronavirus-rumors-surge-hidden-viral-text-messages-n1160936
Coronavirus Misinformation Is Spreading Through Bogus Texts And Group Chats https://www.huffpost.com/entry/coronavirus-text-fake-misinformation_n_5e714e65c5b63c3b648682c5
In fast-moving pandemic, sources of falsehoods spread by text, email, WhatsApp and TikTok elude authorities https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/03/16/disnfo-texts-trump-quarantine/

If you have questions or requests for NSF on COVID-19 or other national security topics please feel free to contact me: mccarthy@nationalsecurityforum.org or Randi Thompson at: info@nationalsecurityforum.org

Thank you to all Nevadans for heeding the advice and guidelines from the CDC, Governor’s Office, Coronavirus Task Force, and your local community leaders to provide the maximum protection to our families, our communities, and our country.

Stay informed and safe!

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Maureen McCarthy, PhD (Program & Commentary Director)

On behalf of Randi Thompson (Executive Director), Garry Garretson (President, Board of Directors) and the NSF Board