He warned on Tuesday, on the French channel RTL, about the side risks of the covid-19 pandemic in the poorest countries, given a “free fall” in the vaccination rate against other diseases, such as measles or diarrhea.
“It’s a tragedy, it’s really unfortunate that we couldn’t prepare for this pandemic,” said Bill Gates, adding that “everyone is now in a hurry to get vaccines in, but we could have been better prepared.”
However, the Microsoft founder hopes that “treatments will appear very quickly”, especially a vaccine “at the beginning of next year”.
“In 2021 we will be able to overcome the disease at least in rich countries,” he said.
“There are a number of vaccines under development, and some of them will prove effective. Rarely do five pharmaceutical laboratories work on the same vaccine at the same time, “he said.
But Bill Gates wants “the vaccine to be for everyone, not just rich countries.”
“Emmanuel Macron said France would be generous in the face of the global crisis. This must happen on a global scale, “he said.
Bill Gates outlined to his Foundation’s “goalkeepers” the balance of data on its health work in developing countries.
“For years, the infant mortality rate and malnutrition have been declining” in poor countries, he explained.
But this year, the “disruption of the economy, health and education system” in these countries has caused “far worse damage than the epidemic itself,” he added, citing the African continent as an example.
“There are fewer people in Africa who are vaccinated against pneumonia, diarrhea or measles, and these diseases are gaining ground this year,” he said.
According to him, the level of vaccination in Africa has dropped from 81 to 74% this year, and “all progress in the last 25 years has been erased.”
Asked about the many “fake news” that flourish on social networks and designate him as the creator of covid-19, Bill Gates explained that “it causes fear that such a rumor will reach social networks and distort the truth.”
“We are working to save lives,” he said, adding that “such a rumor should not prevent people from wearing masks or getting vaccinated.”
Bill Gates also mentioned the record profit of technology giants during the Covid-19 pandemic and said that US fiscal policies are too weak and that Washington could “correct some of the growing inequalities.”
“Huge inequalities have been exacerbated by covid-19,” he concluded. “Children no longer want to go to school, and employees at work, you throw away when others work from a distance.”