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Bill Gates says coronavirus situation in the US an ugly picture, mistakes made

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in an interview said that some mistakes were made in the US on how the coronavirus was handled and that the current situation is an ugly picture.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | July 24, 2020 | Updated 15:28 IST
(Source: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Bill Gates in an interview highlighted the carelessness with which the coronavirus situation was handled in the US.
  • Gates said some serious mistakes were made that led to the rise in numbers and the fatality rate.
  • Gates said that the situation could come in control by 2021.

The co-founder of the tech giant Microsoft, Bill Gates, in a recent interview with CBS said that the current coronavirus situation in the US is an ugly picture. Gates, who has been the subject of many COVID-19 conspiracy theories in the US, said that there are a lot of regrets about how the virus response was handled.

Microsoft has been at the forefront of contributing to public health during the virus spreading through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"Serious mistakes were made, some of which were because we didn't understand the virus very well--the understanding about the importance of masks came later than we wish it had, and then the US has the lowest compliance with mask use of any country, didn't have the leadership message there," Gates said.

Gates asserted on the usage of masks and said that Europe witnessed the fall-off in numbers and that they were able to prevent the spread of infection in other communities as it had a strong leadership message.

Gates said that the US is one of the worst countries when it comes to the fatality rate. He also said that it was a mistake to give importance to the economic benefit rather than the infection rate.

"I think we can change that, but it's an ugly picture. We actually had criteria for opening up that said you have to have cases declining and we opened up with cases increasing. We somehow got masks as this politicised thing and some like, harbinger of freedom, that just covering your mouth was just awful." Gates said.

He further said that now, that the US President Donald Trump has embraced the mask, "We can move forward and try to get the compliance levels to go up, something like the European levels,"

"We have a lot of regrets, but we do have innovations in the pipeline that should reduce the death rate, and eventually, by the end of next year, get us out of this terrible situation," Gates added.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has contributed over $250 million for public health and research. The foundation has partnered with the US government to help develop diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.

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