As major influences from various fields of expertise weigh in on the world’s path back to normalcy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, few voices hold more clout in the mainstream than Bill Gates.
Unsurprisingly, Gates, the co-chair of the humanitarian behemoth Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has suggested that the only way to bring the world back to its pre-coronavirus state is to “get the world vaccinated.”
“We’ll have a lot of unusual measures until we get the world vaccinated,” Gates said in a video interview with The Daily Show host Trevor Noah. “You know, seven billion people, that’s a tall order but it is where we need to get to.”
“You know, things can reopen if we do the right things in the summer but it won’t be completely normal,” Gates continued. “You’ll still be very worried, you know, we may decide masks are important.”
Noah proceeded to ask what Gates believes need to be done moving forward in light of a “late start” from Western leaders in handling the virus.
“Well the main tools we have right now are the behavioral change,” Gates answered, “the social distancing which often means staying at home most of the time, and the testing capacity to identify who in particular needs to get isolated, and then testing their contacts to make sure that we can catch it so early that a lot of people who get sick don’t infect anyone else.”
Gates continued, stating that the foundation is “engaged in projecting” and producing models used to track the disease, partnering with other organizations that offer guidance on ventilators, and the development of therapeutic drugs “to cut the deaths down.”
The “ultimate solution,” Gates declared, “the only thing that really lets us go back completely to normal and feel good about sitting in a stadium with lots of other people is to create a vaccine,” adding that wealthier Western nations must also “take that vaccine out to the global population so that we have vast immunity…”
Gates’ words alarmingly echoed declarations from government officials in New South Wales, Australia, who will keep in place draconian social distancing measures—including on-the-spot $1,000 fines for violators—”until a vaccine is found.”
“We want our best and brightest in NSW and across Australia working their guts out to make sure that we find a vaccine as soon as possible,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“Because the reality is that until we find a vaccine, we all have to live with this virus,” Berejiklian continued. “And no matter what restrictions there are in the future, no matter what restrictions are potentially eased in the future, until a vaccine is found, social distancing is a way of life now.”
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