A top military doctor revealed Sunday the Pentagon has developed a microchip that, when inserted inside the human body, can detect COVID-19.
What are the details?
Dr. Matt Hepburn, a retired Army colonel and infectious disease physician, told CBS' "60 Minutes" the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a top-secret military unit established during the Cold War, developed "subdermal implant" technology to prevent pandemic diseases from debilitating military resources.
COVID-19, for example, managed to sideline the USS Theodore Roosevelt — one of the U.S. Navy's critical aircraft carriers — for almost two months last spring when nearly 1,300 sailors tested positive for COVID.
The device, according to CBS News, is "not some dreaded government microchip to track your every move, but a tissue-like gel engineered to continuously test your blood."
Hepburn compared the technology to a "check-engine light."
"It's a sensor," he 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."
The device, then, allows military personnel to discover their infection status before they begin infecting others.
"Sailors would get the signal, then self-administer a blood draw and test themselves on site. We can have that information in three to five minutes," Hepburn said. "As you truncate that time, as you diagnose and treat, what you do is you stop the infection in its tracks."
A sensor that can tell you if you're sick www.youtube.com
How many soldiers have the 'sensor'?
Hepburn did not provide additional details about the so-called "sensor" beyond explaining its basic functionality and saying the device is "now in late-stage testing."
It is not clear how many U.S. military personnel are walking around with the device.
And although active-duty soldiers may not have a choice about receiving the microchip if the Pentagon gives it the green light, there would certainly be widespread reluctance to receive the device.
In fact, U.S. soldiers are even hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Publicly, the military has said that one-third of troops are opting out of receiving the vaccine, although CNN reported, citing military sources, the true percentage could be closer to one-half.