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The Century of Bioweapons
A laboratory scientist cultures coronavirus for testing in Frederick, Md., March 19.
ANDREW HARNIK/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Century of Bioweapons

Walter Russell Mead

Covid-19 does not appear to be a genetically engineered plague unleashed on the world by supervillains—but its massive global impact shows how effective such a weapon could be. That will have consequences.

The current pandemic, we may hope, won’t live up to its full hype. It may be less destructive and even less costly than many feared. Reliable treatments may soon become available, and societies will figure out ways to protect the most vulnerable while allowing the normal business of life to resume. Covid-19 will presumably at some point become through antiviral therapies a manageable hazard, like HIV/AIDS before it, or be conquered by a vaccine.

Yet less than three months after the first known Covid-19 death in the U.S., more Americans have died of this disease than fell in battle during the Vietnam War. It has disrupted more lives, thrown more people out of work, and at least temporarily closed more businesses than the Great Depression.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal

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