“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,” Bill Gates said.
Bill Gates believes that the world needs to relay some of its money that its spending on weapons to be proactive in case of a threat, to focus on a threat that terrorists have, pathogens.
Gates believe the threat of bio-terrorism needs to be at the top of the list along with nuclear war and climate change.
On Saturday, Gates had the opportunity to speak at the Munich Security Conference. The Business Insider has a condensed transcript of his speech.
The co-founder of Microsoft is a well-known philanthropist who has invested in global health initiatives and he is speaking out with the goal of acquiring investments in vaccines and medical research.
Gates believes that the world needs to be prepared for what he believes will be the biggest threat, a true pandemic. Gates mentioned that the most recent pandemic would be more deadly than the flu outbreak of 1918 that killed between 50 to 100 million people.
Gates stated that modern technology can be key in preventing an extensive death toll.
“The good news is that with advances in biotechnology, new vaccines and drugs can help prevent epidemics from spreading out of control,” Gates said, however, that means that financial resources will have to be ready to fund preventative research.
Gates said, “I’m optimistic that a decade from now, we can be much better prepared for a lethal epidemic if we’re willing to put a fraction of what we spend on defense budgets and new weapons systems into epidemic readiness.”