I like this comment:
Not to have done this research would hardly have protected us. If only a "handful" of apparently naturally occurring mutations were required to turn the H5N1 flu virus airborne, one must assume that the lethal mutations would have occurred outside the lab sooner or later (probably sooner, given the infinite capacity of flu viruses to mutate and thrive). Ignorance cannot defend us; knowledge and forethought can. Now we all recognize the priority the world must give to surveillance and, most crucially, the development of a vaccine. Ignorance is not bliss.
As Mosely says, worst-case scenarios can be met with effective responses only if you think about them ahead of time. However, Newt should well know that the collapse of Civilization with said springing barbarians does not accompany the loss of power to his favorite vibrator.
Barbarians tend to spring regardless. The Nazis proved that quite effectively. Very tech-savvy those boys and girls were and are.
Yet worst case scenarios do sometimes play out, surprising all sides with their outcomes. Steam punk, anyone?