Bill Gates warns another pandemic far worse than Covid-19 is coming, but says current covid risks have ‘dramatically reduced’
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is back with his warning of another pandemic. In January, Gates warned that another pandemic far worse than Covid-19 is coming. He also called on “governments to prepare for the next global outbreak.”
Just a month after his last warning, Gates is back with warnings of another pandemic. Last Friday, Gates, who is also the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, warned that another pandemic is all but certain that would likely be caused by a different pathogen to that of the coronavirus family.
For over a decade now, Gates has been talking about the threats of climate change but his warnings of imminent disaster seemed to fall on deaf ears. During a 2010 TED Talks presentation, Gates shared a mathematical formula that he believes could one day solve the climate change problem we are facing. CO2 (carbon dioxide output) = P x S x E x C (= People x Services per Person x Energy per Service x CO2 per unit of Energy). You can read the story here.
Speaking at Germany’s annual Munich Security Conference, Bill Gates told CNBC that the risks of severe disease from Covid-19 have “dramatically reduced” but another pandemic is all but certain. Unlike the ongoing covid-19, Gates noted that advances in medical technology should help the world do a better job of fighting it — if investments are made now.
“We’ll have another pandemic. It will be a different pathogen next time,” Gates said.
But Gates was also optimistic saying that it is possible to prevent the next pandemic if the world does what Australia did. “The chance of severe disease, which is mainly associated with being elderly and having obesity or diabetes, those risks are now dramatically reduced because of that infection exposure,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gates also told the audience that it was already “too late” to reach the World Health Organization’s goal to vaccinate 70% of the global population by mid-2022. Currently, 61.9% of the world population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Gates went on to call on governments around the world “to contribute billions to tackle future pathogens and increase vaccine supplies.” In a statement, Gates said: “When we talk about spending billions to save . . . trillions of economic damage and tens of billions of lives, it’s a pretty good insurance policy.”
“Next time we should try and make it, instead of two years, we should make it more like six months,” Gates said, adding that standardized platforms, including messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, would make that possible.
“The cost of being ready for the next pandemic is not that large. It’s not like climate change. If we’re rational, yes, the next time we’ll catch it early.”
A year ago, Gates issued another warning about climate change and a new threat of bioterrorism. In an appearance on Derek Muller’s YouTube channel Veritasium, Gates was asked about what’s the next issue facing humanity. In response, Gates said that there will be more pandemics. However, going forward, governments could increase their preparedness to try to reduce the death tolls.
According to the Times, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK’s Wellcome Trust are giving $300 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI ), the organization that helped form the Covax program to deliver vaccines to low- and middle-income countries. The CEPI is trying to raise $3.5 billion as it aims to cut the time required to develop a new vaccine to just 100 days.
Gates said the two big funders of vaccine development during the Covid-19 pandemic, CEPI and the US government, were “brave” to put money at risk to create a large portfolio of potential vaccine shots.
“It was at-risk money that caused the trials to take place. So there was a huge global benefit. We’re all a lot smarter now. And we need more capacity for the next time,” he said.
Gates has been under fire in recent years because of the comments he made during the 2010 TED Talk show about reducing carbon emissions. During the presentation, Gates talked about using vaccines to control population growth.
Microsoft co-founder added that one of the factors contributing to high levels of carbon emissions is population growth and that better health care could help lower unsustainable population growth. The video has since been deleted from YouTube. However, you can now watch the video here.