Feds’ 100-page coronavirus plan warns it will ‘last 18 months’ and cause ‘critical shortages’: report
Composite image of empty store shelves (Twitter) and Donald Trump (screengrab)

The federal government's plan for responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic was obtained by The New York Times.

"A federal government plan to combat the coronavirus warned policymakers last week that a pandemic 'will last 18 months or longer' and could include 'multiple waves,' resulting in widespread shortages that would strain consumers and the nation’s health care system," the newspaper reported.

"The 100-page plan, dated Friday, the same day President Trump declared a national emergency, laid out a grim prognosis for the spread of the virus and outlined a response that would activate agencies across the government and potentially employ special presidential powers to mobilize the private sector," The Times reported.

The document warned of ongoing shortages.

“Shortages of products may occur, impacting health care, emergency services, and other elements of critical infrastructure,” the plan warned. “This includes potentially critical shortages of diagnostics, medical supplies (including [personal protective equipment] and pharmaceuticals), and staffing in some locations.”

“State and local governments, as well as critical infrastructure and communications channels, will be stressed and potentially less reliable. These stresses may also increase the challenges of getting updated messages and coordinating guidance to these jurisdictions directly," the plan continued.

The document was marked, “For Official Use Only // Not For Public Distribution or Release."