Bioterrorism is the next threat facing humanity, billionaire Bill Gates has revealed in an interview with science YouTuber Derek Muller on his channel, Veritasium.
Gates, who predicted the pandemic in 2015, told Muller that bioterrorism, which is when someone who wants to cause damage engineers a virus, is likely the next “disaster” that humans aren’t prepared for.
“So it means the chance of running into this [virus] is more than just the naturally caused epidemics like the current one,” Gates said.
And it’s not the first time Gates has flagged bioterrorism as a huge threat - one bigger than a nuclear war. In 2017, Gates took to Reddit to field questions from fans, and said: “I am concerned about biological tools that could be used by a bioterrorist.”
That same year, the billionaire told The Telegraph it would be “relatively easy” to engineer a new flu strain. Unlike a nuclear war though, the disease wouldn’t stop killing once it was released.
The next disaster that humans aren’t prepared for is climate change, Gates said.
“That would be a death toll even greater than we’ve had in this pandemic,” he said.
Last year, Gates wrote in his blog GatesNotes that by 2060, climate change could be just as deadly as the pandemic, and by 2100, it could be five times as deadly.
“In the next decade or two, the economic damage caused by climate change will likely be as bad as having a COVID-sized pandemic every ten years,” he said.
“And by the end of the century, it will be much worse if the world remains on its current emissions path.”
Facing another pandemic
Gates told Muller that much like COVID, another pandemic could still wreak havoc on the world, despite any lessons learned in this one.
“We could increase our preparedness so we never have a death toll anywhere near what we have today,” Gates said.
“We were lucky that the fatality here is not not super high, but we can nip it in the bud. It'll still get to a lot of countries, but the number of deaths...with the right system should be a tenth of what we've seen here.”