Bill Gates Says USA Missed Its Chance to Avoid Coronavirus Shutdown
America has missed its chance to contain the coronavirus without mandatory shutdowns, Microsoft co-founder Gates said in an interview Tuesday, consistent with CNBC.
“The US is past this chance to regulate (COVID-19) without shutdown,” Gates said during a virtual TED Connects event, CNBC reported. “We didn’t act fast enough to possess a capability to avoid the shutdown,” Gates added.
The US has become the third-worst-hit country in the world, with nearly 600 deaths and nearly 50,000 confirmed cases reported across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and at least three US territories.
Those numbers, however, are likely to climb as the US continues to ramp up its testing efforts — which have been woefully behind those of other countries.
“In terms of testing, we’re still not creating that capacity and applying it to people in need,” Gates said, consistent with CNBC, reaffirming earlier comments Gates made about testing in the US not being organized enough.
More state and native governments have begun telling residents to stay in their homes in recent weeks, with one in three Americans now under “stay at home” orders. But Gates said the time to require such measures was back in January, according to CNBC.
Gates also said that, despite a potentially “disastrous” impact on the economy, the shutdowns should last for 6 to 10 weeks, CNBC reported. That timeline echoes Gates’ previous comments about the steps other countries should fancy contain the virus.
On Monday, President Trump went on a Twitter spree urging the US economy to travel back to business as was common within 15 days, despite most public health experts — including Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the top officials on the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force — advising against lifting the containment measures to reopen the economy, predicting that the outbreak could last for several months.