A co-founder and ex-CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates is known as one of the world’s richest people, but he is also known for his philanthropic activities, which specifically fund the work to eradicate deadly diseases.
As a result, he has become a leading spokesperson for disease control and eradication and has talked at length about the risks our world faces if there is another disease outbreak, as we now see with Covid-19.
During a digital TED talk with host Chris Anderson on March 25, Gates was asked what he would do if he were president and ordered to lead the country through the worst pandemic the world has experienced in over 100 years.
Gates said his top priority would be to keep people across America indoors to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic; in other words, slowing down the rate at which the virus spreads.
“The clear message [would be] that we don’t have a choice to keep this isolation and it will continue for a while, “Gates said. “In the Chinese case, it took six weeks, so we have to prepare for that and do it really well.”
‘If you [a country] insulation does well, you’ll see those numbers in about 20 days [of new cases] really change [go down] and that is a sign that you are on the way. ‘
Gates says he would emphasize that it will not be easy to do this, and make sure that such a message is clear and loud for everyone.
In a previous TED talk in 2015, Gates had warned about the impact that a global pandemic could have on today’s globalized society, where people can travel freely around the world.
Asked to think about this warning and whether he felt he was being listened to, he said, “Basically not. I was hopeful that with Zika, Ebola and SARS and MERS, they all remembered us particularly in a world where people move so much that you can be devastated.
“The conversation was to say,” We are not ready for the next pandemic, but there is progress in knowing that if we deploy resources against it, we can be ready. “Unfortunately, little has been done,” Gates recalls.
Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and ex-CEO was asked what he would do if he were president to fight the corona virus pandemic
Bill Gates made his billions as a founder and CEO of Microsoft, but has since stepped down to focus his efforts on eradicating infectious diseases
More generally about the coronavirus, Gates said, “I think this is an unprecedented, really troubling time for everyone to shut things down, not knowing exactly how long it will take to worry about the health of all people who we give. It is scary for everyone. ‘
He said, like so many people, that he is also stuck at home and used to working remotely. “I haven’t seen colleagues for days!” he said.
Current U.S. President Donald Trump has called for companies to reopen by Easter Sunday to help the fueling US economy, but several medical experts have warned that this could be too early to stop the spread of the corona virus.
On Wednesday, he claimed that “fake news” insists on the need to continue the lockdown so that he can perform poorly in the upcoming US elections in November.
During the daily briefing on the corona virus in the White House, Trump said, “The media would like to see me do badly in elections.”
When questioned by a reporter, he snapped back and said, “I think some people would like it not to open so quickly and think it would be very good if it beat me in the polls.”
However, Trump seemed to withdraw his plan to reopen businesses Wednesday and said he wouldn’t make a decision without Dr. Tony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, who coordinates the daily response to the coronavirus.
U.S. President Donald Trump (L) watches as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks at a news conference
As world governments struggle to tackle the rapidly spreading coronavirus, Gates warned years ago that humanity was ill-prepared for a rapidly spreading, life-threatening pathogen.
In 2015, Bill Gates predicted that a global pandemic would kill many people and bring the world economy to a halt in a 2015 TED Talk.
Gates told a TED talk that if the wealthiest countries had prepared for a pandemic with the same urgency they had prepared for a nuclear war, a global event like the coronavirus could have been avoided.
This was not the last time Gates issued a similar warning. Last year, Gates, who has since stepped away from day-to-day work at Microsoft, has invested his energies in helping eradicate diseases in the developing world, including for an upcoming pandemic.
In a 2019 Netflix documentary, Gates predicted that a deadly virus could develop in China’s wet markets to quickly infect the world.
There are more than 68,000 cases of the coronavirus in the United States, and more than 1,000 people have died.
The number of U.S. deaths from the coronavirus has risen to 1,035 on March 25