Microsoft founder Bill Gates has warned that governments must be ready for smallpox terror attacks and future pandemics. He also urged global leaders to use "germ games" to prepare for bioterrorist attacks.
Gates was speaking at an exclusive Policy Exchange interview with Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Chair of the Health Select Committee. Policy Exchange is the UK's leading think tank that promotes new policy ideas.
Gates Suggested Developing 'Germ Games'
According to Gates, the 'germ games' could prepare nations for bio-terrorism such as smallpox attacks on airports. He also suggested to create a new billion-dollar World Health Organization (WHO) Pandemic Task Force.
He stated, "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 practice."
He continued, "You say, OK, what if a bioterrorist brought smallpox to 10 airports? You know, how would the world respond to that?"
"There's naturally-caused epidemics and bioterrorism-caused epidemics that could even be way worse than what we experienced today and yet, the advances in medical science should give us tools that, you know, we could do dramatically better."
Gates felt that countries like the US and the UK must spend "tens of billions" to fund the research. Though the amount may be expensive, it could result in eradication of the flu and common cold, according to Gates.
Gates emphasized on the beneficial medical innovations that could come out of increasing investment into research and development. He also asserted that he will continue to speak and warn about pandemic preparedness. He feels it is his duty as a philanthropist.
Social Media Reactions
Remarks made by Gates were widely discussed on social media with some users being alerted. Some netizens believed that Gates is just saying such things to make money. One user wrote, "Smallpox. Get that vaccine now." Another wrote, "I don't really understand what Bill Gates is playing at. Is he trying to warn us of a future small pox outbreak, to start buying these new smallpox vaccines? WTF is going on with the world? It's like boomer billionaires have gone evil to sell big pharma dollars. Hope it's not true."
One person commented, "It is so weird and creepy to me how Bill Gates is constantly in the news warning everyone and opining about this stuff. Whoever asked him??" Another shared, "Bill Gates is correct. Bioterror weapons such as Smallpox or other similar lethal genetically modified viruses have so many advantages over conventional or nuclear options."
Another wrote, "Sure, he isn't starting it! Soros & Gates bought research & testing labs for 41 million dollars! Why?"
"Bill, you prophesied the covid pandemic and now you're talking about smallpox, how come you seem to be aware of such problems in advance, or is there something else your not telling us," one user said.