It occurred to me last night just how vulnerable the United States is to Biological attach from a cultural perspective. There is a substantial segment of our population that does not take pandemics seriously or take orders from our government seriously. We are a nation that has been weaned from an early age on the individual’s rights over what most benefits society. Consequently, Americans are viewed as very individualistic and often not very respectful of other cultures. We are not considered as very disciplined and a little cocky. These views are often very deserved. Consequently, we have a greater tendency NOT to listen to authority.
As has been seen in how we have generally handled the COVID-19 pandemic, it has spread very rapidly and has been very difficult to contain. And this is how it can represent a threat to our national security. Unlike bullets, bombs, and IEDs that cause instant catastrophic fatalities or chemical and biological agents which cause delayed fatalities, biological agents can have longer delays a can be spread over time to other people without requiring more agent to be dispersed. This makes them the most difficult to detect, especially if there is a significant delay from the time of exposure until symptoms appear. It also makes it by far the greatest threat because it can broadly spread without any signs and people not considering the urgency of the threat. That means that people can be supercarriers and spreaders, totally unaware that they are the agents of a deadly weapon.
So if a biological weapon with a high mortality and no identified cure takes about two weeks to show symptoms but become infectious in a matter of a couple of days were to be introduced into a major city like New York or San Francisco, a substantial segment of this nation could be infected in a couple of weeks even if the government found out about the spread after three days. That is because it would take a couple of days for the President to verify the threat as real and a week to convince the nation that the threat is real and shut down. But there will be many people who will not be convinced because there are no cases of the disease. And there would not even be a test to determine who has the disease.
Fortunately, the mortality of COVID-19 is only 0.2%. Had it been 2%, bodies would have to be buried in mass graves. Had it been 20% or higher, it would have been indeed like the Black Plague. The country would have ceased to be a functional nation within a month.
Such a doomsday scenario is not out of the question. And the United States would be most vulnerable to such a scenario. Of course, it would be suicide for a nation to launch such an attack without treatments and a vaccine readily available for its citizens.