Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates gave an in-depth interview to Wired where he shared his thoughts on COVID-19 revealing that he believes the pandemic will end for the rich world by the end of 2021 and for the developing world by the end of 2022.
"The innovation pipeline on scaling up diagnostics, on new therapeutics, on vaccines is actually quite impressive. And that makes me feel like, for the rich world, we should largely be able to end this thing by the end of 2021, and for the world at large by the end of 2022," Gates said.
Gates also shared his disappointment with the way the U.S. had handled the pandemic ranging from the fact that the country made it "harder for the commercial testing companies to get their tests approved" to the travel ban coming too late.
Gates said he was surprised at the turn of events as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) employs some of the most intelligent people in epidemiology. Despite his disappointment, the philanthropist said it was crucial to put that aside and focus on tackling the pandemic right now.
Gates also expressed concerns that nations such as Russia and China were moving too fast in developing a vaccine and may put something to market that is not truly safe. "In China and Russia, they are moving ahead at full speed. I bet there’ll be some vaccines that will get out to lots of patients without the full regulatory review somewhere in the world," he said.
Gates said that at least three or four months of phase 3 data were required just to look for side effects and praised the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for sticking to requiring proof of efficacy.
Finally, Gates addressed what it was like to have people spread misinformation about him such as that he was using vaccines to implant microchips into people. He addressed how ridiculous that statement was but mostly stayed focus on the importance of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic efficiently and effectively.