- The Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, who urged world leaders in a 2015 TED talk to prepare for a pandemic, wrote an op-ed article for The Washington Post on how the US could emerge victorious against the novel coronavirus.
- Gates introduced a three-point plan based on expert consultations he had through his work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is funding research for a coronavirus treatment.
- The first point in Gates’ plan is calling for a “consistent nationwide approach” in the US to lockdowns.
- Gates also called for the federal government to ramp up testing and establishing a clear prioritization on who will be tested first, with the highest priority going to medical workers followed by highly symptomatic and at-risk patients.
- The final step, as Gates outlined, would be to take a “data-based approach to developing treatments and a vaccine,” urging leaders to help by “not stoking rumors or panic buying.”
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Bill Gates, who urged world leaders back in a 2015 TED talk to prepare for a pandemic, has introduced a three-point plan on how the US could defeat the novel coronavirus.
Gates wrote an op-ed article for The Washington Poston Tuesday in which he made recommendations based on expert consultations he’d had through his work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is funding research for a treatment for the virus, which causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19.
“There’s no question the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the novel coronavirus,” Gates wrote. “But the window for making important decisions hasn’t closed.
“The choices we and our leaders make now will have an enormous impact on how soon case numbers start to go down, how long the economy remains shut down and how many Americans will have to bury a loved one because of COVID-19.”
As of Tuesday, the coronavirushad infected nearly 190,000 people in the US, with the national death toll surpassing 4,000.
Gates said the first point was calling for a “consistent nationwide approach” in the US to lockdowns. He called the fact that some states were not being shut down completely a “recipe for disaster.”
“Because people can travel freely across state lines, so can the virus,” he wrote. “The country’s leaders need to be clear: Shutdown anywhere means shutdown everywhere. 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.”
“Any confusion about this point will only extend the economic pain, raise the odds that the virus will return, and cause more deaths,” he added.
The Microsoft cofounder also called for the federal government to ramp up testingand establish a clear system over who will be tested first, with the highest priority going to healthcare workers and first responders. Second would be “highly symptomatic people who are most at risk of becoming seriously ill and those who are likely to have been exposed,” Gates wrote.
The final step, as Gates outlined, would be to take a “data-based approach to developing treatments and a vaccine,” urging leaders to help by “not stoking rumors or panic buying.”
“As we’ve seen this year, we have a long way to go,” Gates concluded. “But I still believe that if we make the right decisions now, informed by science, data and the experience of medical professionals, we can save lives and get the country back to work.”