Bill Gates has warned governments to prepare for smallpox terror attacks and future pandemics by investing billions into research and development. Bill Gates has raised alarms with critics by suggesting that billions of dollars be invested into a global pandemic task force running “germ games” to prepare for future outbreaks or biological attacks. Meanwhile, one of the most deadly Smallpox virus samples in the world has been accidentally found at a Merck vaccine facility while cleaning. The virus is considered so deadly that only two labs in the world are authorized to store samples of it, one in Russia and the other at the CDC in Atlanta.
Mr Gates made the comments in a Policy Exchange interview with the chair of the health select committee Jeremy Hunt.
He said that countries like the US and the UK must spend “tens of billions” to fund the research adding that while it may be expensive, it could lead to the eradication of the flu and common cold.
“I’m hoping in five years, I can write a book called, ‘We are ready for the next pandemic’, but it’ll take tens of billions in R&D – the US and the UK will be part of that”, he said.
“It’ll take probably about a billion a year for a pandemic Task Force at the WHO level, which is doing the surveillance and actually doing what I call ‘germ games’ where you practise.”
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The Microsoft founder suggested that the ‘germ games’ could prepare nations for bio-terrorism such as smallpox attacks on airports. Mr Gates warned that bioterrorism caused epidemics could be worse than naturally occurring ones.
“The nice thing is a lot of the R&D we need to do to be ready for the next pandemic are things like making vaccines cheap, having big factories, eradicating the flu, getting rid of the common cold, making vaccines just a little patch you put on your arm, things that will be incredibly beneficial even in the years when we don’t have pandemics,” he said.
Simultaneously Bill Gates is also funding a project that aims to deliver an invisible quantum tattoo hidden in the coronavirus vaccine for storing your vaccination history.
The researchers showed that their new dye, which consists of nanocrystals called quantum dots, can remain for at least five years under the skin, where it emits near-infrared light that can be detected by a specially equipped smartphone.
He added that he will continue to talk about pandemic preparedness, as part of his work as a philanthropist.
He said: “So along with the climate message and the ongoing fight against diseases of the poor, pandemic preparedness is something I’ll be talking about a lot.
“And I think it’ll find fertile ground because, you know, we lost trillions of dollars and millions of lives. And citizens expect their governments not to let that happen again.”
Meanwhile, one of the most deadly Smallpox virus samples in the world has been accidentally found at a Merck vaccine facility while cleaning. The virus is considered so deadly that only two labs in the world are authorized to store samples of it, one in Russia and the other at the CDC in Atlanta.
There were reportedly a total of 15 questionable vials, according to the unclassified “For Official Use Only” alert, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News. Five of the vials were labeled “smallpox” and 10 were labeled “vaccinia.” The vials were secured immediately.