20 August 2020

Wired: “Bill Gates on Covid: Most US Tests are ‘Completely Garbage’”

At this point, are you optimistic?

Yes. 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. 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. That is only because of the scale of the innovation that’s taking place. Now whenever we get this done, we will have lost many years in malaria and polio and HIV and the indebtedness of countries of all sizes and instability. It’ll take you years beyond that before you’d even get back to where you were at the start of 2020. It’s not World War I or World War II, but it is in that order of magnitude as a negative shock to the system.

Steven Levy

A couple of weeks ago in a call I half-jokingly challenged my colleagues to guess when this pandemic would be over. My own estimation was ‘sometime in 2022’ – and I’m impressed to see that Bill Gates agrees. He also cautions against rushing to distribute vaccines that have not been sufficiently tested on humans – such as the Russian vaccine that should be available for mass vaccinations as soon as October. This smells of propaganda planned by Putin to further position Russia in opposition to the ‘decadent West’, but it can have real negative consequences for public trust in vaccination if the virus proves ineffective, or worse, has damaging side effects.

As a side note, Bill Gates’ position on encryption in personal messages and social media is also similar to mine.

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