Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, has just warned that a biological terror attack could possibly kill approximately 30 million people and yield more devastating results as compared to a nuclear attack. Gates, during a speech at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London, United Kingdom, said that biological terrorists can recreate deadly diseases such as smallpox.
Gates asserted that it has become more imperative for charitable organizations to help other countries monitor diseases and outbreaks in order to help prevent a global catastrophe.
The richest man in the world warned against the possibility of a deadly bioterrorist attack.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Gates said:
“Bioterrorism is a much larger risk than a pandemic.”
“All these advances in biology have made it far easier for a terrorist to recreate smallpox, which is a highly fatal pathogen, where there is essentially no immunity remaining at this point.”
“When you are thinking about things that could cause in excess of 10 million deaths, even something tragic like a nuclear weapons incident wouldn’t get to that level. So the greatest risk is from a natural epidemic or an intentionally caused infection bioterrorism events.”
“Whether the next epidemic is unleashed by a quirk of nature or the hand of terrorist, scientists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year. So the world does need to think about this.”
Gates also mentioned a similar warning to world leaders in Munich earlier this year and told them about the “reasonable probability” of a pandemic claiming millions of lives in the next 10 to 15 years. He added that at this point, a pandemic is more dangerous because global travel has become more accessible. In fact, it may even be more devastating than the Spanish flu outbreak that killed about 100 million people in 1919, a number three times as much as the casualties of the first world war.
Daily Mail reports that the Spanish flu had affected approximately 33% of the world’s population and had killed people faster than any other disease in recorded history.
The Spanish flu killed approximately 50 to 100 million people.
Gates added, “We will have epidemics in the next 20 years far worse than the ebola epidemic, or the Zika epidemic and there is some chance it would be a form of flu.”
Before his speech at the Munich Security Conference, he said:
“With nuclear weapons, you’d think you would probably stop after killing 100million.”
“Smallpox won’t stop.”
“Because the population is naïve, and there are no real preparations. That, if it got out and spread, would be a larger number.”
Gates said that the best way to prepare for any natural pandemic that could wreak havoc worldwide is to prepare for a bioterrorist attack. He asserted:
“Getting ready for a global pandemic is every bit as important as nuclear deterrence and avoiding a climate catastrophe. Innovation, cooperation and careful planning can dramatically mitigate the risks presented by each of these threats.”
The threat of bioterrorism is very real. According to Daily Mail, in 2016, the Nuffield Council of Bioethics expressed alarm over the possibility that ‘garage scientists’ could develop and unleash deadly genetically modified organisms.
Experts say that CRISPR-Cas9 can help end
Scientists fear that these amateur ‘scientists’ will use the new but uncontrolled technology called Clustered Regularly Inter-Spaced Palindromic Repeats or CRISPR-Cas9, which has become widely accessible and available to modify organisms. With CRISPR-Cas9, bacterial DNA can be edited with extreme precision and allows scientists to target and remove specific regions in the DNA. As a result, the genes become ‘silenced’ thereby reducing the expression of characteristics associated with that specific gene.