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Biological weapons have been around for a long time, but the Covid-19 crisis could alter the way countries look at how biological weapons might advance their security.

  • Christine Parthemore, chief executive officer of the Council on Strategic Risks, said she and her colleagues are “very concerned” about their research showing possible increased interest from certain countries in using biological weapons on a small scale in addition to developing them for deterrence.
  • Parthemore said they are worried that Russia, North Korea, Iran and China may have offensive biological weapons programs and that the Covid-19 pandemic may have motivated them further in that direction.
  • One strategy she suggested is deterrence by denial, increasing biological defenses and pandemic preparedness to such an extreme degree that biological weapons would not be very effective if used.

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