Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had already spoken about the in a Reddit AMA in March. In a Washington Post op-ed Tuesday, he offered more details on how the US can better deal with the fight against COVID-19.
The co-chair of thesuggested three steps for dealing with the health crisis. First, he says, there needs to be a nationwide approach to shutting down.
"The country's leaders need to be clear: Shutdown anywhere means shutdown everywhere," he said Tuesday. "Until the case numbers start to go down across America -- which could take 10 weeks or more -- no one can continue business as usual or relax the shutdown. Any confusion about this point will only extend the economic pain, raise the odds that the virus will return, and cause more deaths."
His second step focuses on testing. Gates says the federal government needs to step up its efforts to test more people and to prioritize testing starting with medical workers and first responders. That echoes his remarks from governors outbidding each other, is only making matters worse.when he called the testing in the US at that point "disorganized." Gates also said the system to purchase personal protective equipment, or PPE, which has
Last, he says there needs to be a "data-based approach to developing treatments and a vaccine." He pointed out how leaders should not be stoking rumors or panic buying, referring to the drug. Hydroxychloroquine has been touted as a treatment for COVID-19, spurred a rush to purchase it, although it's needed for those who have lupus.
On Thursday, Gates went on CBS This Morning to reiterate his points and said he thought the country would act more quickly.
"I thought we would respond a bit faster," he said. "What we're doing, how we're having to change the economy here, in order to drop the number of cases, it's really unprecedented. Even the issue of once you get the case numbers down, what does opening up look like?"
He also noted that very little investment was made to fight pandemics after his 2015 TED Talk about the problem.
"I think this time, people will understand that this is a trillions-of-dollars event, it's going to be hundreds of thousands of lives on a global basis," he said. "I think people will understand why the alarms were raised and for the next one, we'll be far more ready than we were for this one."
for the global response to the coronavirus outbreak back in February. It originally committed to $10 million in January when the outbreak started.
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