Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates finds the US’ coronavirus response embarrassing. He adds that the state of the coronavirus pandemic is more bleak.
Gates says that on both a global and national scale, the Covid-19 outbreak is “more bleak than I would have expected.”
“Because our behavior and our contact-tracing is not working well [in the U.S.], we continue to have very large case spread. And it is embarrassing,” Gates said during CNN’s “Coronavirus Town Hall.”
He has been vocal about the threat of infectious diseases such as Covid-19 for years. In his 2015 TED Talk with more than 35 million views, Gates stressed, “We’re not ready for the next epidemic.”
Gates added he is “still pretty disappointed” with the US government’s coronavirus response. He mentions a lack of leadership messages and coordination.
He thinks that one reason why the US has been hit the hardest is people being ambivalent to observing crucial Covid-19 protocol, which involves wearing a mask and self-quarantining.
“The range of behaviors in the U.S. right now, some people are being very conservative in what they do, and some people are basically ignoring the epidemic, it’s huge,” Gates told CNN. “We’ve worn out people’s patience.”
“Some people almost feel like it’s a political thing, which is unfortunate,” he added.
Gates believes that as economies reopen, people are less open to staying home, quarantining, and wearing a mask. Meanwhile, people who have not been immediately infected by Covid-19, or know someone who has, may not acknowledge the gravity of the situation.
“It’s almost as though people have a willingness to go under lock down once, and for a certain period,” Gates said. “To get them to extended it past a certain [time], or even to inconvenience themselves with masks, requires maybe somebody they know to not only test positive, but maybe get very sick as well.”
Countries such as Germany, South Korea, and Australia successfully implemented contact-tracing and quarantining when people become infected with the coronavirus.
Second wave is inevitable
Meanwhile, White House advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci pointed out that the second wave of coronavirus is not inevitable, so long as people are stringent.
“We know now that we’re benefiting from the summer,” Gates says. “The infection will get worse in the fall, so all the more reason not to get completely lax in our behavior.”
“I’m not fatalistic about future pandemics, even though I’m disappointed we didn’t get ready for this one,” Gates told CNN.
No second wave coming
There is no second wave of coronavirus coming, according to White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow. He said that it is “just hotspots.”
During an interview with “Squawk Box” co-host Becky Quick, Kudlow said he is not too concerned about the resurgences of coronavirus cases in several states.
“There is no second wave coming,” said Kudlow. “It’s just hot spots. They send in CDC teams, we’ve got the testing procedures, we’ve got the diagnostics, we’ve got the PPE. And so I really think it’s a pretty good situation.”
“Actually, I think nationwide the positivity rate is still quite low, well under 10%.”