The con­fused and par­tisan attempts to eval­uate the risks of the recently con­structed influenza strains -€” and what to do about them once defined -€” reflect the com­plete absence of a strategy for dealing with a rapidly growing threat: the tech­nology under­lying these viral con­structs is fast approaching a stage where pathogens capable of killing mil­lions can be designed and pro­duced at modest cost using widely avail­able techniques.

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