According to Gates, it might be the fall of 2021 when Americans can be completely safe from COVID-19. He believes developing countries will suffer more than others, as most of the deaths will come there.
On Tuesday, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had an interview with Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. During the interview, Bill Gates shared his opinion on COVID-19, where it will hurt the most and when it ends. Besides, he commented on the development of the coronavirus vaccine.
Firstly, Bill Gates noted that the economic damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic is great. The whole world will have economic numbers much lower than expected this year. In addition to killing thousands of people, the virus has also dented stock markets and had a disastrous impact on such industries as tourism, entertainment, transportation, and more.
Further, Gates spoke on the coronavirus testing. According to the billionaire, we need a variety of tests. He said:
“The testing that’s currently being done, which is a PCR-based test, there was an advance that our foundation drove that now you can do a self-swab, so you could very quickly do the test without having the health care worker have to wear protective equipment and having to change that.”
Until the vaccine is ready, it is necessary to go ‘as fast as we can on therapeutics’, as therapeutics can save a lot of lives and avoid the overload. Gates hopes some of them will be promising in the next three to six months.
Bill Gates’ View on Quarantine Policy
Bill Gates has also explained what life in the U.S. will be six to 12 months from now on China’s model. In China, people get back to work. But they are wearing masks, checking temperatures, forgoing huge events. Therefore, the Chinese have been able to avoid a large virus rebound.
The billionaire made a point of learning from all the countries. Economic numbers are going down everywhere, regardless of how strict isolation measures are. But there will be things where ‘the benefit to the risk, like large public gatherings, may not resume until broad vaccination has taken place’.
Speaking on the vaccine, Bill Gates stated:
“The vaccine is critical, because, until you have that, things aren’t really going to be normal. They can open up to some degree, but the risk of a rebound will be there until we have very broad vaccination.”
According to Gates, it might be the fall of 2021 when Americans can be completely safe from COVID-19. As for other nations, he believes developing countries will suffer most, as most of the deaths will come there.
Safety Concerns over Coronavirus Vaccine
Developing vaccines usually takes 5 to 10 years. However, due to global efforts to fight the pandemic, there is an unprecedented speed in the race for the coronavirus vaccine. Some companies are close to the testing phase, while others have already started this process. This week Inovio Pharmaceuticals began Phase 1 of clinical human testing. Earlier in March, Moderna and the National Institutes of Health started testing their own vaccine.
According to Jerome Kim, the director-general of the International Vaccine Institute, safety concerns over the vaccine still exist. He said:
“We don’t know that a vaccine that’s developed in four months — or I guess 12 to 18 months, which is the current estimate — is really safe.”
“Let’s work as quickly as we can — as we are doing at IVI and others are doing — to try and test those vaccines, to get proof that the vaccine works, hopefully within 12 to 18 months.”
Currently, over 70 countries are collaborating with the World Health Organization to accelerate research on effective COVID-19 treatments. 20 organizations are working on developing the vaccine.