Bill Gates, the philanthropist, has found himself playing an integral part in this pandemic. Apart from the medical aid he has been providing, he is also in the spotlight for his video from 5 years ago. He asked governments to take notice, because the next large threat was not war, but a virus.
He asked for immediate action, saying that despite the help his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been providing, we are not prepared for the next pandemic.
The billionaire recently took to Reddit to hold an AMA (Ask me anything), where he answered some hard-hitting questions about COVID-19.
Continued: “The creation of CEPI which was funded by our foundation, Wellcome, Norway, Japan, Germany and the UK was a step but tiny compared to what should have happened. We prepare for possible wars and fires and now we have to have preparation for epidemics treated with the same seriousness. The good news is that our biological tools including new ways to make diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines make it possible to have a strong response system for naturally caused epidemics.”
Continued: “Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore have all done a good job on this. If it’s done right the rebounds should be fairly small in numbers.”
Continued: “Unfortunately in poorer countries doing social distancing is much harder. People live in close proximity and need to work to get their food so there could be countries where the virus will spread broadly.”
“In China less than .01% of the population was infected because of the measures they took.”
Continued: “Countries are still figuring out what to keep running. Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it.”
Continued: “We need to democratize and scale the testing system by having a CDC website that people go to and enter their situation. We will be able to catch up on the testing demand within a few weeks of getting the system in place.”
Continued: “A group called GAVI helps buy vaccines for developing countries and they will play a key role once we have a vaccine being made in volume.”
Continued: “I worry about all the economic damage but even worse will be how this will affect the developing countries who cannot do the social distancing the same way as rich countries and whose hospital capacity is much lower.”
Continued: “We need to be humble about what we know but it does appear that social distancing with testing can get the cases down to low levels.”
Continued: “If a country doesn’t control its cases then other countries will prevent anyone going into or coming out of that country. I think the Netherlands will end up doing what other countries are doing.”
Overall, his informative AMA gave people a chance to get a clearer perspective of the situation from the point of view of an insider.