Billionaire Bill Gates has claimed that a deadly epidemic triggered by terrorists using bioweapons, could wipe out 30 million people with one year.
During a speech at the Munich Security Conference, the Microsoft founder said that the threat from chemical biowarfare is far greater than that of climate change or nuclear war, saying:
“The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu.”
“Whether it occurs by a quirk of nature or at the hand of a terrorist, epidemiologists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year – and they say there is a reasonable probability the world will experience such an outbreak in the next 10 to 15 years.”
Gates and his The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation caused a huge controversy last year when they were investigated by the Supreme Court of India after it had come to light that his vaccine empire had been illegally testing a cancer vaccine on young tribal girls, resulting in devasting health issues for the children they were tested on.
Mr. Gates warns that we must act now if we wish to avoid our entire race being wiped out due to bioterrorism… The solution? Vaccines, of course.
The Express reports: Mr. Gates argued the link between health security and international security is overlooked and criticized governments for failing to pay attention to such threats.
“We ignore the link between health security and international security at our own peril.”
The Microsoft owner reminded the conference of the scale of the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed up to 100 million people and infected almost half a billion others, according to estimates.
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“Most of the things we need to do to protect against a naturally occurring pandemic are the same things we must prepare for an intentional biological attack. I view the threat of deadly pandemics right up there with nuclear war and climate change.”
Mr. Gates claimed adequate preparation could mitigate the risk of an epidemic.He said the development of a medical “arsenal of new weapons” could be used to counter such a threat and that governments must “prepare or epidemics the way the military does for war”.
The billionaire CEO also argued that reducing the time taken to create vaccines, along with surveillance and cooperation, are vital steps to preventing a pandemic – and that failure to prepare could cost hundreds of billions of dollars to recover.
Mr. Gates has warned about bioterrorism in the past. In January, he gave a speech on the issue at the World Economic Forum in Sweden and told BBC radio about human vulnerabilities to fast-spreading diseases in December.