Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Microsoft Corporation and American Billionaire Philanthropist

Gates Foundation pledges over $350m, speaks on COVID-19 conspiracy theories

*We’d be lucky to have much before the end of 2020, but a number of other vaccines are very likely to get approved next year

*Optimistic about world’s chances of seeing through wilder theories, defeating Coronavirus

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As a central character in the raging novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) narrative, Bill Gates, Microsoft Corporation Co-founder and billionaire philanthropist, has said that the world will turn a corner on the ravaging pandemic 2021.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also has pledged over $350 million to fight the disease, including funds for vaccine manufacturing efforts at AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.

However, despite his exertions at securing solutions for the disruptive virus, Gates is largely reported to have been criticised by anti-vaxxers and other conspiracy theorists who claim he seeded the virus for his own nefarious purposes, a Bloomberg report said.

The Microsoft chief maintains he is optimistic about the world’s chances of seeing through the wilder theories and of beating the Coronavirus as well.

On how confident he is that the world will have a working vaccine that can be widely distributed by the end of 2020, he said, “well, the initial vaccine won’t be ideal in terms of its effectiveness against sickness and transmission.

“It may not have a long duration, and it will mainly be used in rich countries as a stopgap measure.

“We’d be lucky to have much before the end of the year. But then, in 2021, a number of other vaccines are very likely to get approved.

“The strongest response will probably come from the protein subunit. With so many companies working on it, we can afford quite a few failures and still have something with low cost and long duration.

Gates remarked that for years, people have said if anti-vaxxers had lived through a pandemic, the way their grandparents did, they’d think differently.

“Yes, it’s ironic that people are questioning vaccines and we’re actually having to say, “Oh, my God, how else can you get out of a tragic pandemic?” Said he.

Against the backdrop of the scepticism on whether a COVID vaccine should be mandatory or otherwise, he stated that “making something mandatory can often backfire.

“But you might say that if you’re going to work in an old-folks’ home or have any exposure to elderly people, it would be required.”

As regards what the billionaire philanthropist make of the conspiracy theories that he is  pursuing vaccine research to control people’s minds using 5G radio waves and all that, Gates said that it is strange.

“They take the fact that I’m involved with vaccines and they just reverse it, so instead of giving money to save lives, I’m making money to get rid of lives.

“If that stops people from taking a vaccine or looking at the latest data about wearing a mask, then it’s a big problem.

He as well commented on the conversation around hydroxychloroquine, which the White House, in Washington, D.C., has promoted despite its repeatedly being shown to be ineffective, saying, “this is an age of science, but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.

“In the test tube, hydroxychloroquine looked good. On the other hand, there are lots of good therapeutic drugs coming that are proven to work without the severe side effects.”

On whether it is harmful or otherwise for the United States (US) and other countries to buy up and stock vaccine supplies even before they’re approved, the Microsoft Corporation Co-founder opined that there should be cooperation within countries and between countries.

He stated: “The US as yet has not helped come up with procurement money for poor countries. We’ve funded more research and development than any country, but on factories and procurement, we’ve only taken care of ourselves.

“Every call I’m on with the pharma leaders and the leaders of countries is with the goal of, “Hey, we need everybody to be protected.”

Going forward, Gates expressed optimism that the innovations in therapeutics will start to cut the death rate, but the true end will come from the spread of natural infections and the vaccine giving us herd immunity.

“For rich countries, that will be sometime next year, ideally in the first half. We’ll get out of this by the end of 2021.

“We’re lucky this one wasn’t a more fatal disease,” he declared.

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