"We did not act fast enough," he said.
During an online “TED Connect” program, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently said that the United States missed the opportunity to control the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) because the country was not fast enough to impose mandatory shutdowns. Currently, U.S. is battling against the spread of Coronavirus, with 142,178 confirmed cases and 2,484 fatalities
Gates stressed that the U.S. should have imposed aggressive precautionary measures as early as January, when the coronavirus broke out in Wuhan, China, the origin of the deadly virus.
“The U.S. is past this opportunity to control (COVID-19) without shutdown. We did not act fast enough to have an ability to avoid the shutdown,” Gates said over rge online TED Connects program.
Apparently, officials only imposed a social-distancing order when cases of confirmed COVID-19 already reached 46,500. States including California, New York City, and Washington, D.C. have so far ordered the temporary shutdown of all non-essential establishments. This resulted in the increase of unemployment rates and markets are “hitting multiyear lows”.
Recently, President Donald Trump announced that he plans to order businesses to resume operations after Easter Sunday or on April 12, to prevent the negative economic impact. Other officials and health experts have criticized his pronouncement, explaining that the move may overwhelm the country’s healthcare system and may lead to more deaths.
Gates agreed that while social distancing order will be “disastrous for the economy,” he likewise stressed that “there is no middle ground” at this time. He suggested that the temporary shutdown should be done from 6 to 10 weeks to prevent virus spread.
“It’s very tough to say to people, ‘Hey keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner, we want you to keep spending because there’s some politicians that thinks GDP growth is what counts,” Gates said.
Gates also suggested that the Trump administration should increase its efforts in coronavirus testing and offer the services to those who really need them the most.
Mass testing should be organized, prioritized, and the call is “super urgent,” Gates emphasized.
“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,” Bill Gates said during his Ted Talk presentation on April 3, 2015.
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