Ex-HHS Deputy Sec: Using Ebola as a Weapon Would Be Difficult

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 04:28 PM

By Courtney Coren

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As fears surrounding the outbreak of the Ebola virus grow, some worry that it could be used as a weapon by terrorists and others with nefarious intentions, but former deputy secretary of Health and Human Services Tevi Troy says that is very difficult to do. 

"The weaponization of disease is quite frightening," Troy told J.D. Hayworth and Francesca Page on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Tuesday.

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"Somebody could weaponize Ebola and make it so that it was let’s say, airborne," he explained. "That would be really devastating." 

"However, there is no evidence that that has happened at this point, and furthermore, it is very difficult to do that," Troy said.

"You need some very smart scientists with a lot of resources behind him," he added.

"It doesn't mean that it can't be done, it doesn't mean there aren't some bad people out there trying to do it, but they may not have the technical facility to do it or the logistical capability," Troy told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" in a separate interview on Newsmax TV on Tuesday.

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"So this whole notion of weaponization of pathogens that you read about in spy novels is really not that easy to do and not that common," he added.

However, the deputy HHS secretary under former President George W. Bush said that "the U.S. government does carefully watch this, they monitor it and we have a SNS, a Strategic National Stockpile, to have counter measures available in case these things happen."

He explained that an anti-bioterrorism act was passed "around 2002 that does call for the development of countermeasures and it's really a three-pronged approach to stopping it."

"One is intelligence, to know what our adversaries are up to," Troy said. "Two, is developing the countermeasures and making sure that if something bad does happen, we can respond to it. Number three, is distribution, making sure we get the countermeasures to the people who need it."

"I would urge people not to panic on this notion of weaponization of Ebola," he added.

"That is not an apparent threat right now."

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