Coronavirus company news summary – NATO prepares for second wave – AFRL develops Covid-19 models – Michigan National Guard helps with food distribution

19 June 2020 (Last Updated June 19th, 2020 09:17)

19 June

NATO defence ministers have discussed the response to a possible second Covid-19 wave during a three-day virtual meeting in Brussels. A new operation plan has been agreed to support allies and partners. As part of this, a stockpile of medical equipment and supplies will be set up. Additionally, a new fund will be established to allow rapid procurement of medical supplies and services. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: "Just as allies have supported one another, and our partners in the first wave of COVID-19, we stand ready to support each other should a second wave of the pandemic strike to reduce suffering, and to save lives."

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is using explainable machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) approaches to develop Covid-19 decision-making models. AFRL experts linked these approaches with conventional epidemiological models to provide deeper insights to federal, state and local decision-makers. This is expected to help inform re-opening decisions during the Covid-19 pandemic. The forecasting models represent military installations and counties across the country. It can be accessed in publicly-accessible dashboards. The effort has been supported by prime contractor KBR with the Air Force Institute of Technology, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratories, the Materials and Manufacturing Hyperthought team and local company Mile2 as other partners.

The Michigan National Guard has supported the distribution of more than 26 million pounds of food during the Covid-19 pandemic. It assisted the Food Bank Council of Michigan in the initiative after the food bank requested help via the State Emergency Operations Center. Up to 12 members were supporting each of the six food bank distribution sites, in Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Comstock Park, Flint, Pontiac and Royal Oak.