Kinda makes you wonder what they’ve got planned. And why is Bill Gates always somehow involved in these doomsday scenarios? Isn’t he just a computer guru?
A pandemic killing tens of millions of people is a real possibility — and we are not prepared for it
A century ago, the Spanish flu killed more than 50 million people. The world is at risk of another pandemic of similar scale.
By Ron Klain Oct 15, 2018, 6:00am EDT
What single event killed more Americans than any other in our history? The attacks of 9/11? The epic conflicts of World War I or World War II?
None of the above. This year, we mark the 100th anniversary of a catastrophe that killed more Americans than all of the events above combined: the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which took as many as 675,000 lives in this country and more than 50 million worldwide — killing nearly one out of every 20 humans then alive.
One hundred years later, it is the prospect of another such pandemic — not a nuclear war, or a terrorist attack, or a natural disaster — that poses the greatest risk of a massive casualty event in the United States. The scope of the danger is breathtaking: Bill Gates, citing epidemiologists, has said that there is a “reasonable probability” of a pandemic that kills more than 30 million people worldwide in the next two decades. A tabletop exercise run at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in May simulated a global flu-like outbreak called Clade X and found that 150 million people (including 15 million in the US) would die in the first year alone.
In an era with so much progress in science and medicine, how can the United States remain so vulnerable to such a pandemic? With so much money and energy being devoted to combatting large-scale terrorist attacks, nuclear proliferation, and other dangers, why has so much less attention been devoted to a threat that is arguably more likely and potentially deadlier?