New York City emergency preparedness officials will be working alongside federal counterparts from the Department of Homeland Security in releasing non-toxic gas at 100-plus locations around the city in what is being characterized as a drill.
According to NBC New York, the Mass Transit Authority (MTA) and DHS say the objective is to test the city’s and the federal government’s response to a weapon of mass destruction attack, as well as the public’s ability to recognize one.
“Most of the locations will be above ground, including some parks. A number of below-ground subway stations will also be included, though details on which ones weren’t known,” the outlet reported. “The tests will be conducted on five separate days between Oct. 18 and 29.”
The drill will simulate “the aerosol release of a biological agent in a densely populated urban environment,” the MTA said in a statement.
“The study will track movement of non-toxic material and the results from these tests will be used to learn more about the relationship between airflow in street level and underground environments,” the MTA’s statement added.
Straphangers and other commuters should expect to see research teams operating throughout the city, the transit agency said.
“The study is part of ongoing testing under the federal Urban Threat Dispersion program. New York City has been tested before, back in 2016, as have other major cities including Washington D.C. and Boston,” NBC New York added.
According to the threat dispersion website, the “project is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts to enhance the resiliency of urban areas and transit systems against chemical and biological agents.” It adds:
The results will directly benefit and inform outdoor, subway, and infrastructure modeling used by transit and emergency management officials as part of emergency response actions.
The test comes as former Trump administration officials grow increasingly concerned that Joe Biden’s inattentiveness to world affairs is empowering our enemies.
“I think the world is very worried,” former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News. “I think they see the first nine months, and they are very concerned that America is leaving the international stage.”
“At its very core, what the Biden administration fails to understand is there is a harsh reality out there, that there is evil and there is good,” Pompeo added. “And if you withdraw from Afghanistan without considering the ramifications and dealing with them and making sure the conditions are right, America will be diminished.”
“If you don’t make clear that you’re going to be an unbreakable ally of the state of Israel, then the Iranians will provide rockets to Hamas in the Gaza Strip and they will fire them into the state of Israel,” he noted further. “And if you don’t understand that American energy is an incredibly powerful national security tool, and instead, you shut it down and give the Russians access to European markets, and beg the Middle East to build more production capacity, you put America at risk.”
“Those are just indisputable facts. That is the reality of the world that we live in, and the Trump administration was serious about using American power as a force for good in the world against the backdrop of reality,” he added.
The botched, deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan was the worst, Pompeo said, because it showed U.S. weakness and it empowered terrorists who would be most likely to pull off an attack like the one being simulated in New York City this month.
He went on to describe it as “a failure of America to respond, to make clear that that’s unacceptable, and then the ultimate collapse of the Afghan government, as we, for some reason, oddly, closed Bagram, pulled out most of our military forces while we still had, or still have dozens if not hundreds of Americans behind, what is today, enemy lines.”
“The world is looking for American leadership,” he continued. “They are looking for a president who is prepared to take real action to defend the things they articulated as important.”
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