He calls for huge government investment to protect against potential pandemics worse than Covid-19.
Bill Gates, the software magnate and billionaire Bill Gates raised concerns about future viruses more deadly than Covid-19. He suggested that rich countries increase vaccine funding in preparation for catastrophic outbreaks.
While announcing the new pledge of $150 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the Microsoft co-founder spoke out. He noted that while Covid-19’s Delta and Omicron variants were among the most transmissible viruses ever seen, the world could have been hit with a more virulent pathogen, killing far more people.
Gates explained that by investing in vaccine production and research to make sure future jabs can be made readily available around the globe, governments are able to prevent future outbreaks.
“When we talk about spending billions to save . . . trillions of economic damage and tens of billions of lives, it’s a pretty good insurance policy.”
CEPI is seeking to raise $3.5Billion in order to cut down the time needed to develop new vaccines. Gates credited the group with saving lives by helping to fund trials for several of the vaccines now authorized for inoculation against Covid-19, but he lamented that adequate supplies haven’t reached developing nations quickly enough.
“It was at-risk money that caused the trials to take place,”He stated. “So there was a huge global benefit. We’re all a lot smarter now, and we need more capacity for the next time.”
The Wellcome Trust is a UK charity that supports medical research and matched Gates’ $150 million donation to CEPI. Jeremy Farrar, the director of Wellcome Trust, echoed Gates’ comments on the dangers of future pandemics. CEPI was created in the aftermath of the Ebola crisis that occurred between 2013-2016.
“We were then and we are now living in what I think is an era of more frequent and more complex epidemics and pandemics,” Farrar said.
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