Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has stated that vaccine to cure coronavirus could be ready within a year’s time. Talking to CNN, Gates said, “If everything went perfectly, we’d be in scale manufacturing within a year. However, It could be as long as two years.” He also clarified that the production of the vaccine would not start before September.
Bill & Melinda Gates foundation– an NGO run by Gates and her wife, has pledged to give “total attention” to the coronavirus pandemic. In an interview with the Financial Times, the billionaire said that the foundation will refocus all its resources on fighting coronavirus.
Citing Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Gates said, “Dr Fauci and I have been fairly consistent to say 18 months to create expectations that are not too high”.
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Gates also spoke about how “raw” numbers of testing were missing the main picture. Gates said, “This focus on the number of tests understates the cacophony and the mistakes we’ve made in the testing system”. According to Gates, through random testing sometimes wrong people were being tested. And, the delay of 24-hour in each test’s result had reduced the value of a test, Gates added.
The billionaire has some experience in this area, with his foundation already working on infectious disease research and funding vaccines.
“We’ve taken an organisation that was focused on HIV and malaria and polio eradication, and almost entirely shifted it to work on this,” Gates told the FT. The foundation has reportedly contributed $250 million to counter the pandemic. The Gates Foundation funds the work of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which produced a coronavirus model that predicts the US death toll through early August.
The billionaire in a column on The Washington Post optimistically wrote that with the right tools and smart implementation, the pandemic will soon end. He added that the current scenario will teach us to prevent future pandemic.
“World War II was the defining moment of my parents’ generation. Similarly, the coronavirus pandemic – the first in a century-will define this era. But there is one big difference between a world war and a pandemic: All of humanity can work together to learn about the disease and develop the capacity to fight it. With the right tools in hand, and smart implementation, we will eventually be able to declare an end to this pandemic- and turn our attention to how to prevent and contain the next one,” Gates wrote in the American daily.
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