As the world is eagerly waiting for the day when the World Health Organization will make the announcement about the end of Coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates believes it depends on which country you are living in -- developing nation or wealthier countries like the U.S.
In a recent interview, Gates said the innovation pipeline on scaling up COVID-19 diagnostics, on new therapeutics, on Coronavirus vaccines "is actually quite impressive," which "makes me feel like, for the rich world, we should largely be able to end this thing [Coronavirus pandemic] by the end of 2021." But for other countries in the world, the end of the pandemic would come by the end of 2022, he said.
The Gates Theory
Gates, who supports several medical research projects and vaccine research programs through Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has harsh words for the U.S. testing system. During an interview with Wired, he said, "The majority of all US tests are completely garbage, wasted." He expressed his apprehensions on how the Trump Administration has dealt with the pandemic situation.
Gates, who hasn't been vocal about the US response to the virus, told CNN that the high number of Coronavirus cases in the country is due to lack of COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and opposition to wear a mask.
The billionaire, who has been in the focus of several conspiracy theories, believes that some of the vaccines which are currently under development are likely to help only the wealthier countries. "It's because of innovation that you don't have to contemplate an even sadder statement, which is this thing will be raging for five years until natural immunity is our only hope," he said.
In addition, Gates noted that COVID-19 appears to be "very vaccine-preventable." As far as the treatment is concerned, Gates is positive about the antiviral medication remdesivir, which is currently considered one of the promising drugs for Coronavirus, and the corticosteroid dexamethasone.
The billionaire, philanthropist said antibodies are two to three months away and added that "We've had about a factor-of-two improvement in hospital outcomes already," and that is because of just two medicines—remdesivir and dexamethasone.
As developing countries are struggling to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus, the Gates Foundation has donated $150 million to the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, Serum Institute of India, to provide up to 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to developing nations priced at less than $3 each.