By The Financial District
Bill Gates Crafts Plan To Prevent Next Pandemic
Bill Gates is one business leader and philanthropist who puts his money where his mouth is, unlike other billionaires who think aloud with tweets while not paying enough taxes and donating cash to fight global hunger, The Economist reports.
Photo Insert: Within three years, Bill Gates has written two books -- “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” and “How to Prevent the Next Pandemic.”
Gates had long warned of the risk that a novel virus would go global and urged nations big and small to collaborate on health research and share research results to develop new vaccines and medicines to battle epidemics worldwide.
Within three years, he has written two books -- “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” and “How to Prevent the Next Pandemic.” The latter, published by Knopf, will be launched this month. The Economist says “his proposals for nipping infections in the bud are worth exploring.”
Gates wrote: “No one wants to live through this again—and we don’t have to. Outbreaks are inevitable, but pandemics are optional. The world doesn’t need to live in fear of the next pandemic. If we make key investments that benefit everyone, COVID-19 could be the last pandemic ever. So, how do we do it? In my book, I explain the steps we need to take to get ready. Together, they add up to a plan for eliminating the pandemic as a threat to humanity. These steps—alongside the remarkable progress we’ve already made over the last two years in creating new tools and understanding infectious diseases—will reduce the chance that anyone has to live through another COVID.”
Gates said that once an outbreak is identified anywhere and the data and samples of viruses are shared for study and uploaded to a global database monitored by a dedicated team.
If a threat is detected, governments sound the alarm and initiate public recommendations for travel, social distancing, and emergency planning. They start using the tools that are already on hand, such as quarantines, antivirals that protect against almost any strain, and tests that can be performed anywhere.
If this isn’t enough, then innovators immediately get to work developing new tests, treatments, and vaccines. Diagnostics in particular ramp up extremely fast so that large numbers of people can be tested in a short time.
New drugs and vaccines are approved quickly because we’ve agreed ahead of time on how to run trials safely and share the results. Once they’re ready to go into production, manufacturing gears up right away because factories are already in place and approved.
No one gets left behind, because we’ve already worked out how to rapidly make enough vaccines for everyone. Everything gets where it’s supposed to, when it’s supposed to, because we’ve set up systems to get products delivered all the way to the patient. Communications about the situation are clear and avoid panic.
“And this all happens quickly. The goal is to contain outbreaks within the first 100 days before they ever have the chance to spread around the world. If we had stopped the COVID pandemic before 100 days, we could’ve saved over 98 percent of the lives lost,” Gates concluded.
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