Bill Gates, philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, explained that society is still at risk of a new variant of Covid-19 afflicting global health again, he also stated that more investment is needed to avoid another pandemicas well as the formation of a group of international experts that can quickly identify health threats.
“Still we are at risk that this pandemic will generate a variant which would be even more transmissive and even more fatalGates warned during an interview with the Financial Times.
The Microsoft co-founder, who in 2015 first warned that the world was not prepared for the next pandemic, explained his proposal addressed to the WHO to create a team of international experts ranging from epidemiologists to computer modelers to “quickly” identify global health threats and improve coordination between countries.
“The current WHO funding does not take pandemics seriously… The WHO had less than 10 full-time staff working on outbreak preparedness,” Gates noted.
Similarly, Gates assured that the health crisis cannot be “lost sight of”, as the current pandemic still poses a threat. “Not likely, I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but it’s well above the 5% risk that we haven’t even seen the worst in this pandemic”, he expressed in the interview with the British newspaper. }
The businessman argued that there is a “urgent need” for longer-lasting vaccines and greater investment by the WHO and world leaders, both for the current pandemic, and to face a possible scenario of another virus that affects humans.
“The amount of money involved is very small compared to the benefit and it will be a test. Can global institutions take on new responsibilities in an excellent way, even in a period of time when relations between the United States and China are difficult, between the United States and Russia? It’s extremely hard,” said Gates, ranked fourth on the Forbes millionaires list, with an estimated fortune of $129 billion.
The businessman took advantage of the meeting to reiterate the launch of his new book: How to Prevent the Next Pandemic (How to prevent a pandemic), which will be published this Tuesday and in which it proposes some measures to prevent a virus from paralyzing the world, as has happened with the Covid-19 crisis.
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“We are at risk of this pandemic generating a more fatal variant”: Bill Gates