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When life can return to normal, according to Bill Gates

06/4 2020 17:45

Only a vaccine can fix this global problem, billionaire philanthropist says
In 2015, Gates said the world's largest threat was a pandemic

Life can only fully return to normal once a vaccine to combat the new coronavirus is available globally, according to Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.

A vaccine against the virus is not expected to be available before next year.

Work needed to be done quickly on the development of a new vaccine to enable a “billions of doses capacity” as quickly as possible, Gates said in an interview with the US broadcaster Fox News on Sunday.

Developed nations, like the United States, will be able to combat the virus sooner or later, he said, but the virus needed to be defeated globally.

“Things will not get back to truly normal until we have a vaccine that has gotten out to, basically, the entire world,” Gates told Fox News.

On Thursday, Gates called on the US government to start constructing factories for the most promising vaccine developments in the fight against the virus.

That could lead to the loss of millions of dollars, as some vaccines would probably never be needed, Gates conceded on his blog, GatesNotes.

No private company could take on that risk, Gates said, but it would be the only way to ensure mass production of a vaccine. 

“Because many of the top candidates are made using unique equipment, we’ll have to build facilities for each of them, knowing that some won’t get used,” Gates said on his blog. 

“Private companies can’t take that kind of risk, but the federal government can,” he said.

The Gates Foundation, which mainly funds health programmes, has already provided US$105 million to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

In a much-viewed TED talk in 2015, Gates said the world's largest threat was a pandemic.

It came as US President Donald Trump said the country could see between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths from Covid-19 before the pandemic is controlled.