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National Security & Defense

Experts Wondering What Terrorists and Rogue Regimes Will Learn From the Pandemic

Sergeant Deozae Hatchett, First Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, conducts a function check on an M240 during the second day of the 2019 Best Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Warrior Competition at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., May 1, 2019. (Specialist ShaTyra Reed/US Army)

Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb, in an interview with Politico: “And [COVID-19] clearly wasn’t a bioterrorist weapon. But rogue regimes and terrorist groups, now looking at how this hurt us more than it hurt a lot of other nations — I think we need to reassess the calculus of how we guard against biological threats.”

The Secure DNA Project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology warns, “Historical pandemics killed tens of millions of people and engineered agents could be even more destructive. Many thousands of people have the technical skills to build and release potentially hazardous biological agents, but only if they know what to make and can obtain a physical copy – for example, by assembling it from synthetic DNA.”



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