The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has postponed a presentation on preparing for nuclear war in favor of a session on this year’s especially severe flu season.
“The topic for CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds on January 16 will now focus on influenza,” an update on the agency’s website says. “With the spike in flu cases around the country, this Grand Rounds will provide key and timely information for public health professionals on how to reduce the spread of seasonal flu in communities and adjust to spot shortages in antiviral drugs because of high influenza activity in some areas.”
The session on nuclear war, originally scheduled for Jan. 16, was set to include such cheerful discussions as “Preparing for the Unthinkable,” “Roadmap to Radiation Preparedness” and “Public Health Resources to Meet Critical Components of Preparedness,” according to the website. It was announced just two days after President Donald Trump caused a frenzy by tweeting that he has a “bigger and more powerful” nuclear button than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Despite the uncanny timing, the CDC told TIME that the workshop had been in the works since April, and is simply part of the agency’s regular educational series.
“As part of its mission, CDC provides for the common defense of the country against all health threats,” spokesperson Kathy Harben wrote in an email. “To fulfill that mission, Public Health Grand Rounds is part of CDC’s longstanding and routine work, similar to work it does to prepare for other possible health emergencies with the goal of ensuring the public health community is prepared for all types of health threats.”
The workshop will be rescheduled for an as-yet-unannounced date, according to the CDC’s website.
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