Bill Gates thinks it’s time for the world to prepare for the next pandemic, which includes investing billions into scientific development, mass testing, a global pandemic alert system and a team of infectious disease first responders.
In the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation’s annual letter, Gates, who is the fourth-richest person in the world, called on wealthy nations to invest tens of billions of dollars to collectively prepare for the next pandemic after Covid-19.
Gates hopes the world will develop mega-diagnostic platforms by the next pandemic, which will be able to test 20% of the global population per week.
Gates also calls for a global alert system where health practitioners can send samples to a lab to get sequenced, and if the sample turns out to be highly infectious or a new pathogen, a global team of infectious disease first responders will be dispatched to the area.
“To prevent the hardship of this last year from happening again, pandemic preparedness must be taken as seriously as we take the threat of war, the world needs a massive global effort to prepare for future pandemics, Gates wrote.
With his fortune from Microsoft, Gates and his wife, Melinda, started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 1997, focusing on global health. The foundation has since grown into the largest private charitable foundation in the world and has emerged as a behind-the-scenes force in the fight against the coronavirus.
The foundation helped fund vaccine development for Moderna and AstraZeneca, as well as other research into Covid-19 treatments. In the process, Gates has become a central figure in baseless Covid-19 conspiracy theories claiming he wants to use vaccines to microchip the world’s population.
In 2015, Gates warned that the world wasn’t ready for another outbreak after the Ebola epidemic. “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. Now, part of the reason for this is that we have invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrence, but we’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic, he said.