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Bill Gates Has Regrets: Years before the Covid-19 pandemic, the billionaire tried to warn global leaders of the threat from new infectious diseases. Few listened. ‘I feel terrible.’
By Betsy McKay
May 11, 2020
photo above: Melinda Gates and Bill Gates during an April 18 video appearance.
WN: The tragedy of politicians and a host of world industry leaders, etc., not listening so underscores our human inclination to ignore all but what stares us in the face! The worldwide Climate Change crisis is the most urgent case in point. It is a deadly variation of NIMBY.
It is deeply heartwarming to learn what the Gates’ are doing around the world, and intend in their will.
Five years ago, Bill Gates warned that the biggest potential killer the world faced wasn’t war, but a pandemic. The billionaire spent hundreds of millions of dollars to find faster ways to develop vaccines and create disease-tracking systems. He urged world leaders to build national defenses against new infectious diseases.
Looking back, Mr. Gates said, “I wish I had done more to call attention to the danger.” The Microsoft Corp. co-founder is now squaring off against the scenario he sought to forestall.
“I feel terrible,” he said in an interview. “The whole point of talking about it was that we could take action and minimize the damage.”
In his second career as philanthropist and co-chair of one of the wealthiest foundations dedicated to global health and American education, Mr. Gates, 64 years old, has put himself at the center of the Covid-19 pandemic that has killed more than 283,000 people and crashed the world economy.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pays for researchers seeking treatments, and it is working with pharmaceutical executives and governments to produce billions of doses of promising vaccines while they are being tested so they can be dispensed as soon as regulators approve them. The foundation has helped reserve space in a manufacturing plant so production of the most effective new medicines can begin quickly.
Mr. Gates questions pharmaceutical company chief executives, digging into the details of vaccine production. “Every day, it’s, OK, are we going to run out of glass vials?” he said. “You may think that’s a simple part of it, but nobody’s ever made 7 billion vaccines.”
He discusses the evolving science of the pandemic with U.S. and world leaders. In TV interviews and his blog posts, he explains the logic behind lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus and the slow path to reopening commerce and schools. “Covid-19 has started behaving a lot like the once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about,” Mr. Gates wrote in a February article for the New England Journal of Medicine.
His high profile during the pandemic has also made him a target of conspiracy theories and antivaccine groups.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Gates said the couple have pledged to give most of their estimated $106 billion fortune to charity before they die or in their will. “These conspiracy theories and misinformation are completely false,” she said.
Please click on: Bill Gates and the Pandemic