Archive of old Counterrorism and National Security Law Exams 

This is just a reminder that the old exams are available. Important note – the course coverage and even the book has changed over the years. These are strictly to give you a sense of the types of questions I have asked in the past. Most of these were in-class exams, not take home.


(FTCA question removed – it was from the climate class, about a different assignment.)


>I was wondering what your thoughts are on what  makes this pandemic so much more scary than the H1N1 pandemic 11 years ago.

Good question. I think it is the speed of the spread and the perceived high death rate. This is the CDC Site on H1N1:

This is the mortality data;

From April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (range: 195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths (range: 8868-18,306) in the United States due to the (H1N1)pdm09 virus.

The key is that this was spread over a year. While 12,000 deaths sounds like a lot, that is a low range for the usual yearly flu pandemic. H1N1 just looked like a second normal flu pandemic in addition to the usual one. That is not a good thing, and there was a lot of concern at first, until it became clear that it was no more lethal than the usual flu.

We do not know how lethal COVID-19 is because we are only seeing the severe cases. But the best estimates are that it is at least 4 times as lethal the usual flu, which could result in result in 100k deaths. It might be more lethal. The scarier part is that it is spreading quickly, so that the deaths could pile up quickly. If that happens, the hospitals get swamped and deaths for COVID-19 go up, as well as deaths from other treatable conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. We have closed economy as much to flatten the curve – spread the cases over a longer period to protect hospitals – as to absolutely reduce the long-term mortality.

We also understood H1N1 better. We were better prepared for testing and there was a vaccine in production. We still know very little about the infection rate or death rate for COVID-19. All of this makes it very frightening.