Bill Gates Warns Terrorists Could Kill 30 Million within a Year using Bioweapons
March 18, 2017
Harry Walker / The Express & James Rush / The Daily Mail
Bill Gates has warned the Munich Security Conference that: "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." Meanwhile, China accuses US of a secret biological attack using a new strain of bird flu. The US has dismissed claims, saying there is 'absolutely no truth' to them.
Bill Gates: Terrorists Could Kill 30 Million within a Year using Bioweapons
Harry Walker / The Express
LONDON (February 19, 2017) -- In a speech at the Munich Security Conference, the billionaire compared the dangers to nuclear war and climate change.
Mr. Gates said: "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."
Mr. Gates argued the link between health security and international security is overlooked, and criticised governments for failing to pay attention to such threats.
He said: "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.
He added: "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.
China Accuses United States of
Secret Biological Attack over New Strain of Bird Flu
James Rush / The Daily Mail
LONDON (April 10, 2013) -- A Chinese military official has blamed the US government for the new strain of bird flu affecting China, calling it a secret biological attack.
People's Liberation Army Senior Colonel Dai Xu said America released the H7N0 bird flu virus into China, in an act of biological warfare, in a blog on Saturday.
Writing on Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site similar to Twitter, Dai alleged the new bird flu strain had been designed as a weapon, similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), that affected the country in 2003 and which he claims was also developed as a US bio-weapon.
The US has dismissed the claims. State Department spokesman Jason Rebholz told the Washington Free Beacon: 'There is absolutely no truth to these allegations.'
Dai's post suggests the new outbreak of bird flu should not be a cause for concern. He wrote: "The national leadership should not pay too much attention to it, or else it'll be like in 2003 with SARS! At that time, America was fighting in Iraq and feared that China would take advantage of the opportunity to take other actions. This is why they used bio-psychological weapons against China."
He said the country fell into turmoil, which he claimed is what the US had wanted, and now they were using the "same old trick."
Nine people have died from the 33 confirmed cases of the virus, all in eastern China, according to data from the National Health and Family Planning Commission. State media quoted authorities as saying a vaccine should be ready within months.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Dai said even if "a few may die" from the outbreak, it would not be 1,000th of the deaths caused by vehicle accidents in China.
The paper reported that the accusation inflamed widespread responses on Chinese websites, while Luo Changping, deputy editor of Caijing, said most soldiers in the People's Liberation Army would not support Dai's comments.
Chinese police have detained at least 10 people for spreading rumors about the H7N9 bird flu as the death toll from the new strain of the virus continued to rise.
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