Early on in the pandemic, Bill Gates was linked to the production of the deadly COVID virus because his foundations allegedly funded coronavirus research. Recently, the philanthropist and billionaire warned that COVID won't be the last viral threat that the world will face.
"COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic threat the world faces," Gates took to Twitter to share earlier this month. He also linked to an article containing his keynote remarks on how to end the current pandemic and prevent the next one. But critics are sounding the alarm on how Gates would possibly be the one to start the next pandemic himself.
According to The Blaze, Gates recently hinted that there may be a smallpox pandemic soon and it is a coincidence that vials of smallpox were found in a Merck lab in Pennsylvania. On November 4, Gates spoke to the U.K. parliament's Health and Social Care Select Committee and former U.K. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt during a Policy Exchange think tank interview.
In the interview, Gates remarked, "You say, OK, what if a bioterrorist brought smallpox to 10 airports? You know, how would the world respond to that? There's naturally caused epidemics and bioterrorism-caused epidemics that could even be way worse than what we experienced today."
Right now, there is no evidence that any terrorist organization is using smallpox to create chaos all over the world. However, this week Yahoo! News reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are looking into "questionable vials" labeled "smallpox" that were found in a freezer at a Merck facility just outside Philadelphia. An alert sent to the Department of Homeland Security heads on Tuesday night revealed this.
Up to 15 questionable vials were found, as per an unclassified "For Official Use Only" alert. Among the 15 vials, five were labeled "smallpox" and 10 were labeled as "vaccinia." These vials were immediately secured and a lockdown of the facility was undertaken. The investigations of the FBI and CDC remain ongoing.
"There is no indication that anyone has been exposed to the small number of frozen vials. The frozen vials labeled 'Smallpox' were incidentally discovered by a laboratory worker while cleaning out a freezer in a facility that conducts vaccine research in Pennsylvania," a CDC spokesperson confirmed. The spokesperson reassured that the vials' contents "appear intact" and that the laboratory worker who discovered them was wearing protective gear.
Critics are convinced that Gates is behind this because in 2010, he warned that the world was ushering in a new "decade of vaccines." Two years later, Moderna and NIH partner to create mRNA vaccines. The NIH also started funding coronavirus gain-of-function research, which many believe is the true source of the COVID pandemic.
Now, critics warn that Gates' comments on smallpox may be a hint of what's to come: a smallpox pandemic. The reason behind it is that they already have a cure, which would mean more government contracts with price tags of billions. This cure will not be something that needs a major investment into research, critics say, as it will be an on-patent drug that's similar to a readily available and cheaper drug, but repurposed and with a higher price tag.
In fact, the CDC on June 4 approved a smallpox drug called Tembexa (brincidofovir), because "there have been longstanding concerns that the virus that causes smallpox, the variola virus, could be used as a bioweapon." Note however that the FDA admitted in the approval letter that the agency did not conduct human trials for safety and instead used animal trials.