Bill Gates on COVID-19: 'Fall 2021 won't be completely back to normal'
Gates has sounded the alarm on pandemics for years, and in April he told PBS that Americans would not be “completely safe” from COVID-19 until the fall of 2021. But the tech founder and philanthropist has a bleaker prediction these days, citing a sluggish global response to a pandemic that has killed over 1 million people around the world. “The slowness on the global response means that, you know, fall 2021 won’t be completely back to normal,” Gates told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer on Oct. 15, in an interview that will be aired as part of the All Markets Summit on Monday, Oct. 26. While he’s best known for co-founding Microsoft, Gates has become an outspoken public health advocate and even gave a TED talk in 2014 presciently called, “The next outbreak? In particular, Gates has criticized a decision by the Trump administration to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO) by July 2021, tweeting that the move was “as dangerous as it sounds.” The U.S. has already said it will redirect $62 million it owes to WHO for dues this year. As the U.S. signals a reluctance to cooperate on a global level, experts say the country is already experiencing a third wave of the virus amid cooling temperatures and a desire to gather with friends and family members. “A lot of the service jobs can be back in place, and certainly school can be back in place, but we’ll have risk of it coming back into the country during that time period,” Gates said. While Gates acknowledged there’s a chance that vaccines won’t be effective by the fall of 2021, he said the said the likelihood of that is now “very, very low.”.