Believing that governments are not doing enough to prepare for future pandemics, Bill Gates has announced his solution to the problem. According to him, all needed is factories capable of making enough vaccines “for the whole world in 100 days”.
In a report released Monday, the Bill and Melinda-Gates Foundation called on nations to invest more in health systems, including the capacity to manufacture vaccines. Bill Gates warned six years ago of a potential threat of pandemics. Now he feels the authorities are not doing enough to prepare for the next one.
“I’m a little worried that attention to pandemic preparedness is weaker than I expected,” he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Bill Gates said that good preparation included the ability to make a vaccine in 100 days and make enough for the whole world within 100 days.
“The only real solution to this problem is to have factories that can do enough for the whole world in 100 days. And it is doable,” said Bill Gates.
The tools to end the pandemic are largely the same as those used to fight other infectious diseases, his Foundation’s report highlighted, including widespread testing, treatment and immunization.
The conclusions of the report
The Microsoft co-founder said he was as engaged as ever in his work with the Foundation due to the pandemic and other pressing challenges, including the issue of climate change.
The pandemic put another 31.3 million more people in 2020 in extreme poverty, according to the report. Women are expected to hold 13 million fewer jobs this year than in 2019, before the start of the pandemic, while men’s employment is expected to return to pre-pandemic rates largely, the document said.
The pandemic has not damaged the global economy where some development measures as badly as expected by the Foundation.
“It wasn’t the worst-case scenario, but it’s still a huge setback,” said Bill Gates.
While data in the report shows that the percentage of the world’s population living in extreme poverty is likely to decline this year compared to 2020, the Microsoft co-founder and director of the Foundation expressed concern that the economic recovery is uneven worldwide.
Notably, per capita income levels are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 90% of advanced countries by 2022, but only in a third of low- and middle-income countries. Nearly 700 million people are expected to remain in extreme poverty by 2030, the report concludes.