- Bill Gates recently said the global coronavirus pandemic may not end until 2022.
- Gates previously said that the U.S., thanks to new vaccines, will likely defeat the coronavirus in late 2021.
- The U.S. today started administering the first doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.
At first glance, it’s admittedly a bit strange that Bill Gates has become something of an authoritative figure on the coronavirus. Gates, after all, is a computer programmer by trade and an iconic corporate executive, not an infectious disease expert. That notwithstanding, Gates’ remarks and opinions about the coronavirus have proven to be particularly insightful and, with the benefit of hindsight, more accurate than not. In fact, Gates during a 2015 TED Talk accurately predicted that the biggest threat to human lives over the next few would be a virus.
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“If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war,” Gates said at the time. “Not missiles, but microbes. Now, part of the reason for this is that we’ve invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents. But we’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic.”
Gates’ prediction, sadly, came true with devastating consequences. To date, the U.S. has seen more than 16.3 million coronavirus cases and nearly 300,000 deaths. Worldwide, the coronavirus has been responsible for more than 1.6 million deaths.
The good news is that vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna may finally help us return to a life of normalcy. According to Dr. Fauci, life in the U.S. could get back on track by August of next year. Defeating the coronavirus globally, however, might take a bit longer. Touching on this during a recent appearance on CNN, Gates praised the work scientists have been doing on vaccines while stating that the pandemic may be with us until 2022.
“Even through early 2022, unless we help other countries get rid of this disease and we get high vaccination rates in our country, the risk of reintroduction will be there,” Gates explained. “And, of course, the global economy will be slowed down, which hurts America’s economy in a pretty dramatic way.”
With respect to the pandemic in the U.S., Gates not too long ago said that we “should largely be able to end this thing by the end of 2021.”
Getting to that point, however, will not be easy. Echoing what many health experts have been saying for weeks, Gates believes the next few months will be the worst of the entire pandemic.
“Sadly, the next four to six months could be the worst of the pandemic,” Gates said. “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.”
Recall that Dr. Fauci recently said that January, in particular, could be the worst month we’ve seen yet, in large part due to Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
“I think January is going to be terrible because you’re going to have the Thanksgiving surge super-imposed upon the Christmas surge,” Fauci said. “So it’s entirely conceivable that January could be the worst.”
Gates’ interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper can be viewed below: