As the United States continues to work to eradicate COVID, doctors and researchers at the Pentagon are working on something else: preventing a future pandemic. According to Dr. Matt Hepburn, a retired Army infectious disease physician, the future of pandemic prevention is with an under-the-skin microchip that can detect a virus.
The research is part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a secret research agency tasked with protecting soldiers from “contagious diseases and biological weapons.”
“… We challenge the research community to come up with solutions that may sound like science fiction. And we’re very willing to take chances with high-risk investments that may not work. But if they do, we can completely transform the landscape,” Hepburn told “60 Minutes.”
The microchip has a sensor that detects disease in the body, the infectious disease doctor explained.
“That tiny green thing in there, you put it underneath your skin and what that tells you is that there are chemical reactions going on inside the body and that signal means you are going to have symptoms tomorrow,” Hepburn explained.
Inspiration for the microchip came from the major outbreak that took place on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. During the early days of the pandemic, roughly 1,000 of the 4,800-member crew had the virus, the Navy Times reported in May 2020. The ship was forced to dock in Guam between March and May of 2020 as a way of preventing further spread. The USS Theodore Roosevelt returned to sea in late May of 2020.
In February of 2021, another outbreak occurred. This one resulted in 1,271 crew members testing positive for the coronavirus. One person died.
The microchip, according to Dr. Hepburn, could be used to detect whether or not a sailor has the virus before it is accidentally spread to someone else.
“Sailors would get the signal, then self-administer a blood draw and test themselves on site,” the doctor explained. “We can have the information in three to five minutes. As you truncate that time, as you diagnose and treat, what you do is you stop the infection in its tracks.”
It’s highly unlikely members of the military will agree to utilizing this technology when a third of all troops have refused to get the vaccine.
Conservatives have said they worried about vaccines being used as a means of implanting microchips for tracking purposes. It was a claim that Bill Gates and members of the media said was a baseless conspiracy theory. It turns out microchip concerns may have had some merit, even if they didn’t fall under the umbrella of vaccines.
Some Americans have concerns about the vaccine, how long it took to create under Operation Warp Speed, and its long-term consequences and health impacts. This latest news may create further suspicion and a reason for some people to hold off on getting the COVID vaccine.
Beth Baumann is a Political Reporter at The Daily Wire. Follow her on Twitter @eb454.
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