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But these efforts aren’t just too late to prevent the rapid spread of the disease first discovered in Wuhan, China, in 2019, says Daniel Aldrich, who directs the security and resilience studies program at Northeastern.

“Declaring an emergency now, some two months after it could have been declared, implies that you shouldn’t have been doing anything between January and now,” Aldrich says. “The first Wuhan spike really came in December of last year. That’s four months ago.”

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