PressTV-Bill Gates warns new pandemic could kill millions
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has warned that tens of millions of people could be killed in a deadly global pandemic in the next 10 to 15 years.
Making his first appearance at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Gates warned the international community about the threat of biological warfare, which according to him, is not being taken seriously enough.
“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,” said the American genius.
He said that getting ready for the deadly pandemic is every bit as important as nuclear deterrence.
“With nuclear weapons, you’d think you would probably stop after killing 100 million. Smallpox won’t stop. Because the population is naive, and there are no real preparations. That, if it got out and spread, would be a larger number,” he argued.
“Whether it occurs by a quirk of nature or at the hand of terrorist, epidemiologists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year,” Gates told the Munich gathering. “And they say there is a reasonable probability the world will experience such an outbreak in the next 10 to 15 years.”
Gates, who has spent much of the last 20 years funding a global health campaign, said advances in biotechnology, new vaccines and drugs could help prevent epidemics spreading out of control.
“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,” he explained, calling on the international community to get prepared for the epidemics the way the military prepared for war.
“This includes germ games and other preparedness exercises so we can better understand how diseases will spread, how people will respond in a panic and how to deal with things like overloaded highways and communications systems,” he added.
He said last year’s Zika virus outbreak and the 2014 catastrophe of Ebola epidemic showed the governments are still not strong enough for responding to emergencies.
Gates, whose foundation invests in improving global healthcare, said that breakthroughs in genetic engineering will make it easier for terrorists to plot attacks on a massive scale.