By Talbert Toole
Oxford and Ole Miss are known for their dedication to sports, food and hospitality. Now, the LOU community can add “target of biological warfare” from an episode of the Netflix series “Designated Survivor” to the list.
The hit show premiered on the ABC network for its first two seasons before being canceled; however, Netflix picked up the show to continue the series.
The show centers around Thomas Kirkman, portrayed by actor Kiefer Sutherland, who is the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for the U.S. In its first episode, Congress gathers in the Capitol for the State of the Union Address. Sutherland’s character is chosen as the designated survivor for the event. While waiting in an offset location from the speech, the Capitol building is destroyed by a terrorist attack killing all lines of succession to the presidency besides Sutherland.
“Designated survivor” is an actual precaution that takes place to ensure the continuity of government in the event of a disastrous occurrence that kills the President and the officials in the presidential line of succession.
The precaution usually takes place during the State of the Union, such as in the Netflix series, and joint session of Congress, to name a few.
For the 2018 State of the Union address, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was chosen to be the designated survivor. The chosen designated survivor for an event, such as the SOTU, would attend the event right until the speech when she or he is then moved to a secure, undisclosed location.
Episode eight of the third season, which debuted this weekend, the now President Thomas Kirkman is notified that a bioterrorist is set to release a virus that specifically targets people with higher melanin through water supplies.
While in the situation room, the President and his team discover that the mastermind behind the biological warfare has moved through Tennessee and is now in Oxford, Mississippi and specifically working in a lab at Ole Miss.
An actor who portrays an Ole Miss scientist discovers the terrorist but tries to secretly notify the authorities before he can unleash a virus that would attack approximately 47 percent of Mississippi’s population.