COVID is a “perfect weapon” and shows how biowarfare could quickly “bring the world to its knees”, according to a former military chemical weapons expert.
Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon spoke out after it was revealed Chinese scientists had probed weaponising coronaviruses five years before the start of the pandemic.
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Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon described Covid as a ‘perfect weapon’Credit: Headline
Chinese scientists reportedly considered weaponising coronaviruses back in 2015Credit: EPA
The colonel does not believe Covid is manmade weapon – but it demonstrates the threat of what could happen if a biological agent was released by an enemy state or terrorist group.
He exclusively told The Sun Online: “I was not at all surprised by the report about China.
“Experts like me were completely taken by surprise by Covid. It is almost too perfect a weapon.
“What Covid has shown us is just how devastating a biological weapon could be to the world.
“One of the big concerns is that there are thought to be around 3,000 laboratories around the world which work with deadly pathogens like SARS.
“They employ one million scientists and the chances of one or two of them being bad actors is absolutely certain.”
Earlier we reported how documents obtained by the US State Department reportedly showed People’s Liberation Army (PLA) commanders predicted that World War 3 would be fought with bio weapons.
China is known to have been carrying out high risk “gain of function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) – just a stone’s throw from the outbreak’s ground zero at the Huanan Seafood Market.
The Covid pandemic has already left millions dead across the worldCredit: Reuters
Coronavirus is known to have originated in the city of Wuhan – home to the WIVCredit: AFP
Mr de Bretton-Gordon at work in battle-scarred AfghanistanCredit: Headline
WIV has always denied any involvement in the origins of the virus, but questions still remain over what role it may have played when the bug was first detected in December 2019.
Mr de Bretton-Gordon is a weapons expert who has been working on chemical and biological attacks around the globe for 30 years.
The former commander of the UK’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear regiment has probed Anthrax attacks in Afghanistan and a horror plot by ISIS to spread the PLAGUE in refugee camps.
He has also unearthed evidence of multiple chemical attacks in Syria and continues to advise the government at the highest level particularly in the wake of the 2018 Novichok poisoning in Salisbury.
Mr de Bretton-Gordon chronicles his life in ‘Chemical Warrior’, the paperback version of the book is out later this month and available on Amazon.
He told the Sun Online: “Unfortunately, there are bad actors around who want to do us harm.
He has written a thrilling book about his life called Chemical WarriorCredit: HEADLINE
“Now a lot of them are thinking there’s no better way to do it than a SARS-type pathogen.
“Warfare and conflict is changing very definitely.”
He is now calling for the introduction on an early warning system to prevent future pandemics.
“China kept Covid secret for seven days which allowed millions to spread it around the world,” he said.
He also said if Beijing is working on biological weapons that is clearly “a threat to world peace.”
Mr de Bretton-Gordon said: “I think we need to see biological hazards as a threat to the 21st century in the same way that atomic science was to the 20th century.
“Chemical and biological weapons will be the scourge for generations.
“They are easy, they are cheap, they have got the potential to bring the world to its knees, just like Covid has done.”
Medics in an emergency Covid room at a hospital in Brescia, Italy,Credit: Getty
Mr de Bretton-Gordon has been working on biological attacks around the world for 30 yearsCredit: Headline
The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down
He believes those labs working on novel viruses and other dangerous pathogens must be more tightly controlled to prevent accidental leaks or terrorism.
“The opportunity for theft, accident or leakage is high. Now that we’ve seen how quickly a pathogen can spread . . . we need our security to be absolutely watertight,” he said.
The most dangerous pathogens such as Anthrax and Ebola are kept in maximum containment Bio Security Level 4 labs, of which there are nearly 50 around the world according to the WHO.
These include the Wuhan facility and the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down.
World’s deadliest viruses..
SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the same large family of viruses known as coronaviruses. It was first identified in December 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The virus likely originated in bats and passed through an intermediate animal before infecting people. To date it has killed more than 3.3 million people.
Marburg virus. Scientists identified Marburg virus in 1967, when outbreaks occurred among lab workers in Germany exposed to infected monkeys imported from Uganda. It is similar to Ebola in that both can cause haemorrhagic fever, meaning that infected people develop high fevers and bleeding throughout the body.
Ebola virus. The first known Ebola outbreaks in humans struck in the Republic of the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976. Ebola is spread through contact with blood or other body fluids, or tissue from infected people or animals.
Smallpox. In 1980, the World Health Assembly declared the world free of smallpox. Before that, humans battled the virus for thousands of years, and the disease killed about one in three of those it infected. It left survivors with deep, permanent scars and, often, blindness.
Dengue. Dengue virus first appeared in the 1950s in the Philippines and Thailand. Up to 40 per cent of the world’s population now lives in areas where dengue is endemic, and the disease – with the mosquitoes that carry it – is likely to spread farther as the world warms. It sickens 50 to 100 million people a year.
Influenza. During a typical flu season, up to 500,000 people worldwide will die from the illness. But when a new strain emerges, a pandemic results with a faster spread of disease and, often, higher mortality rates. The Spanish flu pandemic began in 1918 and killed an estimated 50 million people.
BSL-4 labs are usually subject to high national security regulations and WHO biosecurity guidelines, but standards are not enforced or monitored at an international level.
The only mandatory inspections occur at the two labs which contain the last remaining stocks of the smallpox virus: Russia’s Vector Institute in Siberia, and the US Center for Disease Control in Georgia.
Those facilities are visited every two years by the inspectors from the WHO to ensure safe storage and research procedures.
Even before the pandemic, there were concerns that safety standards at BSL-4 labs were not universally observed.
US diplomats who visited the WIV in 2018 warned of a “serious shortage of appropriately-trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory,” according to diplomatic reports.
Pathogens such as influenza and botulinum are usually kept at lower security in BSL-3 labs, which are subject to varying national guidelines