April 7, 2020
„Nobel-winning biologist Joshua Lederberg warned “the single biggest threat to man’s continued dominance on the planet is the virus.” The Covid19 pandemic is a wakeup call to this existential truth.
The reality of the novel coronavirus pandemic must now usher in a paradigm shift in the way we think about and prepare for global security threats, whether natural or human-engineered.
The revolution in biology, including genomics and gene editing, makes it possible for state and non-state players to design microbes and viruses for civilian medical research or biological weapons. The dual-use nature of biotechnology makes it difficult to determine the intent of an adversary.
Contrary to online rumors, to date there is no evidence that Covid19 is the product of a state laboratory experiment deliberately or accidentally released in Wuhan. Nor is there evidence that infected carriers traveled from China to intentionally spread the contagion. To insinuate foul play without evidence is irresponsible, whether the charges come from Russia, China, or U.S.
If a country intentionally unleashed such a virus, there would be grave implications. As a deterrent, the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review envisions U.S. nuclear retaliation in extreme circumstances of biological or cyber attack.
The Covid19 outbreak is most likely a natural occurrence, but this does not diminish the import of the wakeup call for the U.S.“ (…)