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Not missiles, but microbes

Greg Satell makes a great point in his latest blog post, which is encapsulated well by this quote from Bill Gates from a few years ago.

In a 2015 TED talk, Bill Gates warned that “if anything kills ten million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes.” He went on to point out that we have invested enormous amounts of money in nuclear deterrents, but relatively little to battle epidemics.

Governments all spend considerable amounts of money on military equipment, weapons, soldiers and the like, despite war between any two countries is exceedingly rare.

Yet, not having an army at all (or having a bad one) makes countries vulnerable when the odd war does arise. Hence, they invest in being prepared.

The current situation with the Coronavirus has shown that governments are nowhere close to being prepared to handle a pandemic of this scale.

Perhaps this is a time to start investing in healthcare infrastructure on par with how investments in defense and military infrastructure are done.

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