Bill Gates chats to Ellen DeGeneres during the latest episode of her at-home edition of her show Monday.
Gates, who, along with his wife Melinda, donated $100-million to coronavirus vaccine research and treatment efforts back in February, discusses the COVID-19 crisis and his foundation’s efforts to help find a vaccine and therapeutics.
DeGeneres also mentions his 2015 Ted Talk, where he predicted a similar pandemic to coronavirus and how he had hoped it would resonate with the government.
The Microsoft founder shares, “The goal of the 2015 talk was so the government could do the work to be ready for the next epidemic.”
He adds the goal was to have things like vaccines and drugs available “dramatically faster than what we’re going through here.”
“This is worse than war but the amount we put into it, the amount we practised and had the ability to make these tools, virtually nothing was done.”
Gates continues, “Until we get almost everybody vaccinated globally we still won’t be fully back to normal.”
As Gates mentions June as a date to start getting back to normal, DeGeneres questions how we can do that given there won’t be vaccines available for a year.
Gates says, “Even if we’re doing the right things, we’ve fixed the testing problems, making sure people are being strict about quarantine, so the government is able to encourage some activities to resume… even so, the populous has been thinking about this infectious disease enough that people will be reluctant.
“We need to start getting things back to normal. They won’t be back to normal until we have that phenomenal vaccine or a therapeutic that’s over 95 per cent effective. We have to assume that’s going to be almost 18 months from now.”