RealNews

Behind Duct Tape and Sheeting, an Unlikely Proponent

The man behind duct tape and plastic sheeting is not Tom Ridge, the homeland security secretary, nor some anonymous policy maven at a Washington research group. Rather, the man responsible for increasing sales at do-it-yourself stores this month is Ralph E. Gomory, the president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, one of the nation’s largest private foundations. Even before the Sept. 11 attacks he was worried about terrorism and determined to find possible responses. “The foundation has been absolutely essential to what we did yesterday,” said Maj. Gen. Bruce Lawlor, Mr. Ridge’s chief of staff. “Ralph in particular has been a catalyst for thinking about ways to protect people and doing it in a way that tries to take advantage of existing systems.” Or as Dr. Gomory puts it: “You can’t ask people to agree that the threat of bioterrorism is huge and leave it at that. You have to give them something concrete they can do because their first question is going to be `What can you do about it?’ ” In the aftermath of the terror attacks and the anthrax scare that followed, the foundation, which had been studying bioterrorism for almost two years, suddenly was the reigning authority on heretofore unthinkable events. It began helping the Department of Homeland Security write a list of precautions, which was to be released on Feb. 19 as part of a public awareness campaign. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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