Trump reveals fears of bioterrorism

Greg John
Monday 27 December 1999 01:00
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Donald Trump, the property tycoon who is considering entering the race to be president of the United States, has proposed new defences against the threat of biological attack by terrorists.

Donald Trump, the property tycoon who is considering entering the race to be president of the United States, has proposed new defences against the threat of biological attack by terrorists.

He believes antibiotics should be stockpiled in big cities and sensors should be developed to give early warning of biological devices. He even floated the idea of a new lottery game to finance a counter-terrorism spy network.

"I bet if I started a national defence lottery, with money earmarked for preventing terrorism against US cities, we would take in enough money to hire and train every spy on earth and still have money to spare," he said.

"Imagine this for a second," he added. "The National Security Lottery would sell tickets just like in a Powerball lottery but dedicate every cent to funding an anti-terrorism campaign."

America should also stunt the growth of foreign terrorist groups by offering jobs to Russian biotechnicians, he suggested.

Trump accused established politicians of refusing to discuss the threat of terrorism in detail and so prolonging the danger.

"Their chief job, all too often, is to get re-elected," he said. "They don't want to be the bearers of bad news."

Trump, who has signalled that he may seek the presidential nomination for the anti-establishment Reform Party, revealed his fears of germ warfare terrorism in a book seen as a campaign blueprint, called "The America We Deserve".

A US government study has put a $12 million price tag on preparing a city against bioterrorism. The congressional study estimated it would cost a city of 500,000 people about $1.3 million to acquire basic equipment to prepare for a hazardous material incident and $12 million to be "highly prepared" for a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear event.

Materials needed to prepare against a hazardous materials incident would range from duct tape to mobile command posts and would cost an additional $3.3 million to sustain over 10 years. A higher level of preparation would need $12.2 million for initial procurement and $42.9 million over a decade.

Trump also proposed a one-off 14.25 percent tax on people with assets of $10 million or more to reduce America's national debt, said health care reform would be at the top of his agenda and vigorously defended hanging murderers.

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