Microsoft founder and charitable foundation co-chairman Bill Gates called for preparing for new pandemics and taking them as seriously as a potential military conflict. This statement was included in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual message.
The billionaire opined that the world must take serious steps to be prepared for the next pandemic. He deemed it wise to invest billions in science, testing, a global alert system for new disease outbreaks. He also noted the importance of forming a dedicated “response team.” “Think of them as [a kind of] pandemic fire brigade. Like firefighters, these highly trained professionals need to be ready to respond to a potential crisis situation as soon as it becomes known,” he explained his plan for dealing with such occurrences.
In the absence of risks of a new pandemic, Gates said, members of such a team should focus on improving their competencies. He also suggested holding regular drills for them – like the ones the military undergoes.
“To avoid the difficulties we faced last year, preparing for a pandemic must be taken as seriously as a [potential] military conflict,” the billionaire stressed.
Gates and his wife Melinda own their own charitable foundation and publish annual messages outlining the organization’s achievements and plans for the future. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s major efforts include combating dangerous diseases in developing countries and a variety of health and education programs in the United States. To date, the foundation has allocated about $1.75 billion to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier it was reported that Bill Gates was vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. “One of the benefits of being 65 is that I can get the COVID-19 vaccine. I got my first dose this week and I feel great. Thanks to all the scientists, trial participants, regulators and frontline health care workers – for leading us to this point,” he wrote on Twitter.