May 3, 2022 — Bill Gates says people are tired of living with COVID-19 but warns that difficult days may be ahead.
“We’re still at risk of this pandemic generating a variant that would be even more transmissive and even more fatal,” the Microsoft co-founder told The Financial Times in an interview. “It’s not likely, I don’t want to be a voice of doom and gloom, but it’s way above a 5 per cent risk that this pandemic, we haven’t even seen the worst of it.”
Gates was interviewed while promoting his new book, “How to Prevent the Next Pandemic.”
He says the world’s nations need to prepare for another pandemic with a Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization initiative that would be managed by the World Health Organization, The Financial Times said.
The GERM could include experts, ranging from epidemiologists to computer modelers, who would identify global health threats and coordinate among nations.
Nations must invest more money to pay for such an effort if they really want to prevent future pandemics, he said.
“It seems wild to me that we could fail to look at this tragedy and not, on behalf of the citizens of the world, make these investments,” Gates said in the interview.
“The amount of money involved is very small compared to the benefit and it will be a test: can global institutions take on new responsibilities in an excellent way, even in a time period where US-China [relations are] tough, US-Russia is extremely tough?”
At a 2015 TED conference, Gates said the world was not prepared to deal with the next pandemic. At the 2022 TED conference last month, Gates discussed his idea for a GERM and said WHO would need about $1 billion yearly to support it, CNBC reported.