Remember all the way back to December 2013, when a mysterious disease began to surface in a small village in the West African nation of Guinea. At the time, no one could identify it. The disease quickly spread throughout the country, then jumped to ones near by – Sierra Leone and Liberia. It was finally identified as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in March of 2014.
Thousands of Africans fell ill, and many died. Some estimates where up to 62 percent of those sticken. The world became gripped in panic as it was thought that Ebola could become the plague. We even had a few cases here in the States – but they were quickly contained, with some initial difficulty, I might add.
By 2015, with no raging epidemic to report on, the scare faded, and we have heard very little of the disease since. However, it wasn’t until Jan. 14, 2016, that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola scare as officially dealt with. Of course, the following day someone in Sierra Leone died of the disease.
So why am I writing about this now? The mere fact that there were 28,616 suspected cases – 15,227 were laboratory confirmed – 11,310 people died from Ebola, should be cause enough for concern. But still, it’s been contained, so why worry?
I still worry because I’m evidently not the only one concerned with these types of outbreaks and our preparedness for dealing with such things. And this time I’m not talking about accidental outbreaks.
The Fiscal Times reports that Bill Gates spoke at the World Economic Forum last Thursday on the topic of bioterrorism.
“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, which focuses on creating vaccines that could stop the outbreak of future diseases,” the story explains. Gates says that despite raising $700 million so far, he’s afraid it won’t be near enough.
I don’t recall the last time I sided with Bill Gates on anything, despite typing this article using Microsoft Word, but he’s right on this one.
“What preparedness will look like for intentionally caused things, that needs to be discussed. It’s very hard to rate the probability of bioterrorism, but the potential damage is very, very huge,” insisted Gates. (Or did he mean Yuge?)
Gates added, “The problem of how we prevent a small group of terrorists using nuclear or biological means to kill millions is something I worry about.”
Although I agree, frankly, it’s not just the toll of an intentional outbreak that concerns me. Terrorism doesn’t have to just involve killing people and blowing things up. The psychological toll can be more calamitous than the biological agent itself. Panic is devastating on a society – a nation. It is the definition of terror.
As ISIS and other terror groups are being defeated in the Middle East, many are leaving the battlefield to disperse around the globe. Knowing what we know of these barbarians, we must understand that they will do anything in an attempt to defeat or at least strike long-lasting fear in the minds of the infidels. That’s us. There is no better way than bioterrorism to cause mass panic and thrust a country into a tailspin.
One of Gates’ peers in Silicon Valley, Sam Altman, recently stated, “After a Dutch lab modified the H5N1 bird-flu virus, five years ago, making it super contagious, the chance of a lethal synthetic virus being released in the next 20 years became, well, nonzero.”
In 2014, at the heart of the Ebola scare, I wrote an article entitled “Maybe Now You Will Close the Border, Mr. President.”
Obviously nothing was done about the border – quite the opposite – and the scare evaporated.
Coincidentally, the same gentleman who warned of the likely consequences of our open border as it relates to biological outbreaks was just sworn in as the new secretary of homeland security – Gen. John F. Kelly.
With a new sheriff in town, might we now close our border to not only illegals but to other potential, but very real threats, like bioterrorism?