The billionaire has been warning about the risk of a pandemic disease for years, claiming that a global health crisis like the coronavirus could wipe out 30 million people in less than a year.
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This story originally appeared on Business Insider
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said this coronavirus pandemic was the “biggest event that many people will experience in their entire lives,” and warned that a similar viral outbreak will likely occur “every 20 years or so.”
Gates discussed the global fight against the new coronavirus with the Financial Times via Skype on April 2 . FT published the interview and the transcript online on April 8.
He said world leaders and global policymakers have “paid many trillions of dollars more than we might have had to unpack if we had been prepared.”
“This is the biggest event that people will experience in their entire lives,” Gates told FT .
He said that in response to this outbreak, future governments will have “diagnostics on hold, deep antiviral libraries and early warning systems.”
“The cost of doing all of those things well is very small compared to what we are going through here,” he said. “And now people realize, 'OK, there really is a significant probability every 20 years or so due to the many trips around the world that one of these viruses will appear.' And so, citizens will expect the government to convert health a priority. ”
He said he was confident that the lessons learned from this outbreak will encourage people to better prepare for next time, but regretted that the cost of this pandemic was too high.
“It shouldn't have required a loss of many trillions of dollars to get there,” he said. “Science is there. Countries will take a step forward.”
The 67-year-old billionaire has been warning about the risk of a pandemic disease for years, claiming that a global health crisis like the coronavirus could wipe out 30 million people in less than a year.
In 2015, Gates issued a warning in a TED Talk saying that the world was “not ready” for an impending pandemic.
“There is no need to panic … but we have to get going,” he said in 2015.
In February, the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation promised to donate $ 100 million last month to combat the coronavirus outbreak, designating money for vaccine research, front-line responders, prevention measures, and treatment efforts worldwide.