Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who five years ago predicted the emergence of “a highly infectious virus,” now says that the two greatest potential threats to the world are climate change and bioterrorism.
During an interview with Veritasium, the science-focused educational YouTube channel hosted by Derek Muller, Gates identified climate change and bioterrorism as the two most prominent threats that the modern world faces.
“Every year that [climate change] would be a death toll even greater than we’ve had in this pandemic,” Gates said.
“Also, related to pandemics is something people don’t like to talk about much, which is bioterrorism, that somebody who wants to cause damage could engineer a virus. So that means the chance of running into this is more than just naturally caused epidemics like the current one,” he added.
Gates went on to say that pandemics like the coronavirus outbreak will likely happen again in the future, but the world now has the chance to set up “the right system” to deal with them.
“Pandemics can be worse in terms of the fatalities. Smallpox was over 30% fatality,” he said. “We were lucky that the fatality here is not, not super high, but we can nip in the bud … the number of deaths with the right system should be a tenth of what we’ve seen here.”