‘US lost its chance to tackle the virus without such shutdown’, Bill Gates
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates insisted on Tuesday that the US did not foresee the pandemic risks earlier and it resultantly lost its chances to control the situation and avoiding major shutdowns. “The U.S. is past this opportunity to control (COVID-19) without shutdown,” Gates said during a TED Connects program broadcast online. “We did not act fast enough to have an ability to avoid the shutdown.”
Gates also pointed out the virus that has the potential to spread easily was first discovered in January itself and that is when the world should have taken notice. “It’s January when everybody should’ve been on notice,”
The United States is currently facing a major lockdown and the officials have directed the people to stay at home unless for essential activities. The virus has infected over 46,599 people in the States till now. Gates in his interview did say that such a massive lockdown will have a “disastrous” effect on the economy but he said the loss needs to be borne and “there really is no middle ground.”
“It’s very tough to say to people, ‘Hey keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner, we want you to keep spending because there’s some politician that thinks GDP growth is what counts,’” Gates said. “It’s hard to tell people during an epidemic … that they should go about things knowing their activity is spreading this disease.”
Gates also said that the testing facilities in the US need to be ramped up as it has been regularly criticized by the US Healthcare workers.
“In terms of testing, we’re still not creating that capacity and applying it to people in need,” Gates said. “The testing thing has got to be organized, has got to be prioritized. That is super, super urgent.”
Bill Gates actually predicted the upcoming of such a pandemic in his TED talk in 2015 and he also anticipated that there is a requirements for governments to stay ready. We’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic,” Gates in his TED talk in 2015. When talking about his TED Talk on Tuesday, Gates said that “sadly very little was done,” but he remains positive.