Warning the world about the perils of the pandemic, Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, in an interview has said that the world might face the worst of the coronavirus pandemic in the coming four to six months.
Indicating at the rising numbers of coronavirus deaths in the US, Gates cited the latest report by IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) and said, “Sadly, the next four to six months could be the worst of the pandemic. The IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) forecast shows over 200,000 additional deaths. If we would follow the rules, in terms of wearing masks and not mixing, we could avoid a large percentage of those deaths.”
Expressing his concern, he added, “ In recent weeks, the US is experiencing record high cases, deaths and hospitalisations. “I thought the US would do a better job handling it,” said Gates, who in 2015 had warned the world of such a pandemic.
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“Overall, when I did the forecasts in 2015, I talked about the deaths potentially being higher. So, this virus could be more fatal than it is. We didn’t get the worst-case. But the thing that has surprised me is that the economic impact in the US and around the world has been much greater than the forecasts that I made five years ago,” he said.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’s foundation has been part of efforts to develop and deliver COVID-19 vaccines.
On the vaccine front, Gates said that access to the vaccine should be based on medical need, not wealth at all. Gates said that his foundation has been funding a lot of the research for the vaccines. “We’re very agile. We’re a partner in a thing called CEPI, which is the second biggest funder after the US government,” he said.
“After all, this epidemic has been awful in the way that it’s exacerbated inequities. It’s been worse for Hispanics, worse for blacks, worse for low-income service workers, multigenerational households, a number of things that mean that, in terms of picking who gets the vaccine, we better be using equity to drive all those decisions,” he said.
Commenting on the executive order signed by President Donald Trump which prioritises distribution of the vaccine to Americans before it goes to people in other countries, Gates responded that he believes that the US needs to help all of humanity.
Despite the availability of the vaccine, Gates said that the next four to six months really call on Americans to do their best. “Because we can see that this will end, and you don’t want somebody you love to be the last to die of coronavirus,” he said.
He also said that he will take vaccine shots publicly like the former US president, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama, so as to increase the confidence of the people in the vaccine.
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