By KIM BELLARD
Since the early days of the pandemic, conspiracy theorists have charged that COVID was a manufactured bioweapon, either deliberately leaked or the result of an inadvertent lab leak. There’s been no evidence to support these speculations, but, alas, that is not to say that such bioweapons aren’t truly an existential threat. And artificial intelligence (AI) may make the threat even worse.
Last week the Department of Defense issued its first ever Biodefense Posture Review. It “recognizes that expanding biological threats, enabled by advances in life sciences and biotechnology, are among the many growing threats to national security that the U.S. military must address. It goes on to note: “it is a vital interest of the United States to manage the risk of biological incidents, whether naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberate.”
“We face an unprecedented number of complex biological threats,” said Deborah Rosenblum, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs. “This review outlines significant reforms and lays the foundation for a resilient total force that deters the use of bioweapons, rapidly responds to natural outbreaks, and minimizes the global risk of laboratory accidents.”
And you were worried we had to depend on the CDC and the NIH, especially now that Dr. Fauci is gone. Never fear: the DoD is on the case.
A key recommendation is establishment of – big surprise – a new coordinating body, the Biodefense Council. “The Biodefense Posture Review and the Biodefense Council will further enable the Department to deter biological weapons threats and, if needed, to operate in contaminated environments,” said John Plumb, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy. He adds, “As biological threats become more common and more consequential, the BPR’s reforms will advance our efforts not only to support the Joint Force, but also to strengthen collaboration with allies and partners.”
Which is scarier: that DoD is planning to operate in “contaminated environments,” or that it expects these threats will become “more common and more consequential.” Welcome to the 21st century.Continue reading…