This is not a question of if, but when.
I guess if Bill Gates says it people will pay more attention. Biological and chemical weapons are considered weapons of mass destruction, part of the triad with nukes, but they get a lot less press. There’s also the fact that they’ve rarely been used, even by militaries, mainly because they haven’t been very useful. They tend to be as dangerous to the employer as the target. They kill and maim indiscriminately.
But that’s no longer true, particularly for bio-weapons. Now that DNA has been decoded, weapons can be targeted to attack only people with certain codes. Think specific ethnic groups. The reality is, bioweapons will be favored over more crude destructive weapons such as nukes or even conventional weapons, because they will incapacitate/kill while leaving the infrastructure intact. Almost the perfect weapon.
They exist, thus they will be used. In the same manner we will see a nuclear detonation. They exist, one, at least, will be used. The most likely target for a nuke is in a cargo container in a port city. For bioterrorism, look at any terrorist group that is battling along ethnic lines.
Here’s the link to the article where Gates talks about it. But don’t go away quite yet.
Even without bioterrorism, the threat of a pandemic is also lurking. The last really, really bad one was 1917, when 50 to 100 million people died. While the article says a new pandemic will be contained better, I tend to disagree. In 1917 one couldn’t get on a plane on one side of the world and end on the other within 24 hours. If it’s a very fast pandemic, we’re in big trouble.
So here’s how to deal with both: