.elementor-panel-state-loading{ display: none; }
total-news-1024x279-1__1_-removebg-preview.png

LANGUAGE

SELECT LANGUAGE BELOW

Why the Next Pandemic Will Be Worse Than COVID

The former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning Americans to prepare for the next pandemic, which he fears will be more catastrophic than COVID-19.

Dr. Robert Redfield, a virologist who continues to treat patients suffering from COVID, oversaw the CDC’s initial response to the pandemic and served as a member of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force under former President Donald Trump.

“We are going to have another pandemic,” Redfield told The Daily Signal. “I do believe it’s going to be much more catastrophic than the COVID pandemic.”

Redfield predicted the next pandemic would be the bird flu, also known as H5N1. Its mortality rate is significantly higher than COVID: 52% of the 888 infected patients with H5N1 have died since 2003.

“COVID’s mortality was about 0.6%,” Redfield said. “Bird flu’s mortality is going to be north of 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%. It’s going to be catastrophic.”

With more than 100 million chickens and turkeys already infected in the United States, Redfield said bird flu has also been found in 27 different mammals. And while there remains a low risk of infecting humans right now, another mishap like the COVID lab leak could quickly expedite bird flu’s transmission.

“This is why I’ve called for a moratorium on gain-of-function research until we can have a broader public debate about it,” he said. “I’m not convinced it needs to be done. I don’t think there’s really any benefit from it. Some of my colleagues disagree with me, but I think we shouldn’t do it until we know how we do it in a safe, responsible, and effective way and we clearly can’t do that at the present time.”

Redfield served on a nonpartisan commission convened by The Heritage Foundation, which issued a blistering critique of China’s COVID-19 cover-up. The commission, which released its report Monday, blamed the communist government in Beijing for obfuscating the truth about the pandemic’s origin and causing widespread damage and death as a result.

Americans can take an important step now to prevent such a disaster from happening in the future, Redfield said.

“COVID is a test case for why we don’t want to do gain-of-function research. I don’t think it was worth 28 million lives. I don’t think it was worth the trillion dollars of cost and the disruption that we had,” he said. “The COVID pandemic was a direct consequence of science and the arrogance that science had that nothing could go wrong. And, in fact, something went terribly wrong.”

The former CDC director, who served under Trump from 2018 to 2021, said biosecurity is the most important national security threat facing America today.

“It’s a time for our nation to step back and realize that the playing field has changed, similar to what happened when the atomic bomb came into the theater,” Redfield said.

Redfield spoke with The Daily Signal following the release of the commission’s report, “Holding China Accountable for Its Role in the Most Catastrophic Pandemic of Our Time: COVID-19.” Commissioners spoke at a Heritage Foundation event Monday.

Redfield criticized the Chinese government for failing to alert others to the threat posed by COVID when it was first discovered in the summer of 2019. The consequences, he said, were deadly. More than 28 million people worldwide have died from COVID-19, including 1.1 million in the United States.

The commission calculated the U.S. economic damages at a staggering $18 trillion.

What can policymakers do to hold China accountable?

The commission recommends a national security review of U.S.-China scientific collaborations and deeper investigation into COVID-19’s origins. It also recommended that Congress amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act to grant U.S. courts jurisdiction over cases brought by American citizens who are seeking monetary damages from China.

In addition to Redfield, other members of the nonpartisan commission included:

  • John Ratcliffe, former director of national intelligence (commission chairman)
  • Robert C. O’Brien, chairman of American Global Strategies and former U.S. national security adviser
  • Heidi Heitkamp, director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and former U.S. senator from North Dakota
  • Matthew Pottinger, chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies China Program and former U.S. deputy national security adviser
  • Jamie Metzl, founder and chair of OneShared.World, former NSC and State Department official and member of WHO expert advisory committee on human genome editing
  • John Yoo, Emanuel S. Heller professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Robert Kadlec, physician and former assistant secretary of health and human services
  • David Feith, adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and former deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Telegram
WhatsApp