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BILL GATES: A new kind of terrorism could wipe out 30 million people -- and we are not prepared

BILL GATES: A new kind of terrorism could wipe out 30 million people -- and we are not prepared

Feb 19, 2017, 8:00 AM                          from BUSINESS INSIDER
Bill GatesMike Nudelman/Business Insider

The following op-ed was exclusively provided to Business Insider to coincide with a speech Bill Gates is giving for the Munich Security Conference. The following is an abridged version of his remarks.
When I decided 20 years ago to make global health the focus of my philanthropic work, I didn’t imagine that I’d be speaking at a conference on international security policy. But I’m speaking here at the Munich Security Conference because I believe our worlds are more tightly linked than most people realise.

War zones and other fragile state settings are the most difficult places to eliminate epidemics. They’re also some of the most likely places for them to begin — as we’ve seen with Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and with cholera in the Congo Basin and the Horn of Africa.

It’s also true 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.

The point is, we ignore the link between health security and international security at our peril. 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 10-15 years.

Bill gates quoteBusiness Insider/Skye Gould

It’s hard to get your mind around a catastrophe of that scale, but it happened not that long ago. In 1918, a particularly virulent and deadly strain of flu killed between 50 million and 100 million people.

You might be wondering how likely these doomsday scenarios really are. The fact that a deadly global pandemic has not occurred in recent history shouldn’t be mistaken for evidence that a deadly pandemic will not occur in the future.

And even if the next pandemic isn’t on the scale of the 1918 flu, we would be wise to consider the social and economic turmoil that might ensue if something like Ebola made its way into a lot of major urban centres.

The good news is that with advances in biotechnology, new vaccines and drugs can help prevent epidemics from spreading out of control. And, 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.

We need to invest in vaccine innovation

First and most importantly, we have to build an arsenal of new weapons — vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics.

Vaccines can be especially important in containing epidemics. But today, it typically takes up to 10 years to develop and licence a new vaccine. To significantly curb deaths from a fast-moving airborne pathogen, we would have to get that down considerably — to 90 days or less.

We took an important step last month with the launch of a new public-private partnership called the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. The hope is that CEPI will enable the world to produce safe, effective vaccines as quickly as new threats emerge.

The really big breakthrough potential is in emerging technology platforms that leverage recent advances in genomics to dramatically reduce the time needed to develop vaccines. Basically, they create a delivery vehicle for synthetic genetic material that instructs your cells to make a vaccine inside your own body. And the great thing is that once you’ve built a vaccine platform for one pathogen, you can use it again for other pathogens — which means we could also apply it to other hard-to-treat diseases like HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis.

READ MORE
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/bill-gates-op-ed-bio-terrorism-epidemic-world-threat-2017-2?r=US&IR=T

(Yellow highlighting mine.)

"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

Comments

  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    Sounds like the "terrorism" is actually what he would like to do to us all
    -------------------
    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • Lynsey_ADMIN_Lynsey_ADMIN_ Administrator
    That Dutch scientist from several years ago, who is replicating Bird flu to make it more deadly & airborne must have had enough time by now to design the new strain
    "Before you embark on a Journey of Revenge, Dig Two Graves" Confucius (504 bc)
    “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”
    "If angry, count to ten. This will give you time to find a weapon." - Will Spencer
  • The thing that concerns me is the delivery vehicle for synthetic genetic material. Could it include neural lace or something to alter our genetic makeup? 

    "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

  • Matt_ADMIN_Matt_ADMIN_ Administrator
    I imagine it could - they've been testing genetic weapons for ages
    -------------------
    "...Say, 'GOD is sufficient for me.' In Him the trusters shall trust." (Quran 39:38)
  • They'll have to catch me first.  When I was 10 it took mum and a doctor to catch me to give me a jab. I ran around the surgery trying to escape! They finally managed to tranquilise me for a few moments with a jelly bean!  

    "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

  • The son of an old friend was easy to catch.  At the sight of a needle, he would drop on the floor and scream, beg and cry.  He was like that into his late teens.  He is now the head of surgery at a regional hospital.

    If the politicians treat people this poorly when they're armed to the teeth,

    just imagine what they'll be willing to do once they've disarmed everyone.

  • ....and now he's watching his patients scream beg and cry. 

    "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."

  • At 6'9", he's a gentle giant.

    If the politicians treat people this poorly when they're armed to the teeth,

    just imagine what they'll be willing to do once they've disarmed everyone.

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