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Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, who warned five years ago that the world’s greatest threat is a pandemic, believes that the current coronavirus crisis is “a nightmare scenario” but it could be worse.
Even though the coronavirus spread seems like an unnatural phenomenon, it is real. And, what is, even more, real – is the death of hundreds of thousands of people. Coronavirus began its deathly crusade from China. However, the country with the most people infected (and dead as well) is now the United States. According to the last information, the U.S. has 321,615 people infected with the coronavirus. 8,468 people are in critical condition while only 16,570 people are reportedly being recovered. The death toll in the States is 9,132. Globally, there are more than 1.2 million cases and at least 67,258 deaths. Though it may seem that there can’t be a worse scenario, some people (and Bill Gates is among them) are rather optimistic about coronavirus.
Trump Predicts Death Toll of 240K
U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated statements from the White House health advisor Anthony Fauci who had stated that the death toll could reach 240,000 before the outbreak is under control. However, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates doesn’t think so.
He says that if the social distancing is done properly, we should be able to get out of this with a death number well short of that what Trump is predicting. Gates told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that it is “very important” those figures are out there so people understand the severity of the situation.
Gates, who resigned from Microsoft’s board last month to focus on his philanthropic efforts, especially the ones regarding the finding the COVID-19 vaccine, said if people continue practicing safe social distancing and remain in quarantine, cases should begin leveling off toward the end of this month.
“This is a nightmare scenario because human-to-human transmittal respiratory viruses can grow exponentially. And you know, if we had kept on going to work, traveling like we were, you know, that curve would never bend until you had the majority of the people infected and then a massive number seeking hospital care and lots of lots of deaths.”
He also added that things don’t have to “go back to truly normal until we have a vaccine that we’ve gotten out to basically the entire world.”
Bill Gates Says Coronavirus Is Not the Worst Case of Pandemic
While the coronavirus pandemic is “super, super bad,” Gates said it’s not “the worst case.” He also went on to compare COVID-19′s low fatality rate compared to a disease like smallpox.
Gates noted that even once the number of virus cases declines and the world starts getting back to normal, the economy is likely to be “less vibrant” as people could be afraid of going to big gatherings or traveling.
However, he stressed once the whole thing is over, the economy will be “bigger” than before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Previously, Gates stressed that the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the novel coronavirus but that there is still time to do something. In his blog, he wrote that the federal government needs to step up on testing and that far more tests should be made available.
He also said that “shutdown somewhere should mean shutdown anywhere” adding that “until the case numbers start to go down across America, which could take 10 weeks or more, no one can continue business as usual or relax the shutdown.”
Back in 2015, Gates warned that the disease more than a war would be a threat to causing millions of deaths in the decades to come. Since then, he said only 5% of what should have been done was done to address a situation such as the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $50 million to support the development of drugs used in treating COVID-19. Gates estimated it will take around 18 months for the coronavirus vaccine to be developed for public use.