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Bill Gates reveals when he thinks we’ll finally conquer the coronavirus

Published Aug 10th, 2020 8:08PM EDT

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  • Bill Gates during a recent interview said the United States will be able to move past the coronavirus by the end of 2021.
  • Gates added that less developed countries may not be able to move past COVID-19 until 2022.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that the United States might be in a lot of trouble if the number of new coronavirus cases in the country doesn’t drop below 10,000 by fall.

During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Bill Gates has become something of an authoritative figure on the virus and what needs to be done to help defeat it.. And though Gates’ position in this role might appear surprising at first glance, the Microsoft founder a few years warned us about the danger of a global pandemic taking hold.

“If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war,” Gates explained during a 2015 Ted Talk. “Not missiles, but microbes. Now, part of the reason for this is that we’ve invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents. But we’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic.”

Five years later, Gates’ words have unfortunately proven to be prophetic. The coronavirus started ravaging all corners of the globe earlier this year and, in some areas, hasn’t let up since. The situation in the United States in particular has been particularly grave. Though many areas successfully managed to flatten the curve a few months back, dozens of states have experienced massive spikes in new coronavirus cases over the past 6-8 weeks.

At this point, a vaccine is probably the only way the U.S. can effectively put the coronavirus in the rearview mirror. And while there’s optimism that the FDA will approve an effective COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year, that’s certainly not a guarantee at this point. What’s more, the first coronavirus vaccine may only be 50% effective, according to recent remarks from Dr. Fauci.

Put simply, there’s no telling when the coronavirus pandemic will truly end. Touching on this point in an interview with WIRED, Gates was asked when he thinks the madness will end. Gates answered that developed countries will be able to move past COVID-19 about a year before other countries.

“You have to admit there’s been trillions of dollars of economic damage done and a lot of debts, but the innovation pipeline on scaling up diagnostics, on new therapeutics, on vaccines is actually quite impressive,” Gates explained. 

“And that makes me feel like, for the rich world, we should largely be able to end this thing by the end of 2021, and for the world at large by the end of 2022,” Gates added.  As it stands now, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in the United States is now over 5 million.

“That’s a huge number of cases and a very large number of hospitalizations and deaths, and more to come,” Dr. William Schaffner told CNN. “Because over much of this country, this virus is spreading unimpeded because so many folks are not getting with the program to contain it.”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.