November 20 (UPI) — Bill Gates said today at the 2020 Innovation Economic Forum, co-organized by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, Bloomberg, the British Institute for International Strategic Studies and the Mandela Institute for Development in South Africa, that the situation in the northern hemisphere is expected to be very difficult in the next six months based on data models. The good news is that vaccines and therapeutic drugs, especially antibodies, are coming in, helping to reduce the number of people infected. But until the vaccine is available, people will need to rely on masks and other protective measures.
Bill Gates points out that neo-corona pneumonia is a super-transmitted disease, and it is not yet certain that people will be able to eliminate it completely, depending on whether the vaccine can effectively stop transmission. If the infectious disease cannot be eliminated, people need to be immune indefinitely, which means intensive vaccination. In the future, people may need to produce electronic proof of vaccination in order to enter other countries. But he also believes that people have a chance to eliminate the outbreak, but it will take time, just as people used to deal with yellow fever.
He believes governments should provide financial support for vaccine research and development to speed up the pace of vaccine launches. At the same time, a team of medical personnel needs to be organized to study chronic infections for a long time, so that they have the appropriate equipment and capabilities to respond quickly in the event of an outbreak pandemic. “The cost of (medical investment) is not too great compared to military costs. But governments, especially rich countries, are expected to step up investments of tens of billions of dollars. “
Bill Gates thinks there’s still a long way to go in the fight against the epidemic in the United States. He also said that at the beginning of the outbreak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made some mistakes and failed to act as a public communicator. The U.S. missed a critical time period that could have prevented a sharp rise in infections through testing and messaging. “It’s disappointing that we can’t go back in time and change these issues, but we still have a chance to wear masks. Research shows that if you wear a mask, you can save more than 100,000 lives in the United States over the next six months. “
When it comes to the relationship between the private sector and government in the fight against outbreaks, Bill Gates argues that private sector innovation is good for finding solutions, but requires government resource coordination and regulatory approval. Despite the CDC’s poor early performance, he sees no substitute for the private sector, which remains an authoritative information publisher and now has to improve the government’s response. (Wen Xi Wang)