The world must arm itself against future health crises, the billionaire reiterated
The World Health Organization is currently the only organization that can create and manage a “excellent” multi-domain team of health experts to detect, prevent and combat future pandemics, the Microsoft co-founder said, lamenting its underfunding despite being the top donor.
With more than 6.2 million people believed to have died from Covid-19 and its comorbidities during the pandemic, the world may not have seen the worst yet, Gates warned in an interview with the Financial Times. published on Sunday, just days before his new book, titled “How to Prevent the Next Pandemic”, goes on sale.
“We still risk that this pandemic generates a variant that would be even more transmissible and even more deadly,” Gates warned. While saying he doesn’t want to be a “Voices of Woe and Sorrow” Gates estimated the risk that “we haven’t even seen the worst” of the current pandemic “Well above 5%”, and stressed the need to develop new, more sustainable vaccines.
The deep-pocketed philanthropist reiterated his call for a global emergency response team operating under the acronym GERM (Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization), with an annual budget of at least $1 billion. Gates said the amount of money needed for the initiative is “very small compared to the benefit,” and called it a test of world leaders’ ability to “Taking on new responsibilities.
Last month he took the stage for a TED talk in Vancouver to elaborate on the idea, also described in his book, saying he expects the group to include at least 3,000 doctors, epidemiologists, experts in politics and communication and diplomats operating under the direction of WHO.
Gates’ book won praise from WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who fully agreed with the software mogul’s insistence that “We need to learn from Covid-19 and innovate so that we can deliver fast and fair health solutions to prevent the next pandemic.
Although Gates is not a certified medical expert and never even completed college, his enormous wealth has allowed him to effectively dominate global health policy through the Gates Foundation as the largest private contributor to the body. health care, behind the US government in terms of funding. .
Gates has become a household name in Covid-19 discussions not only thanks to the millions his foundations have poured into vaccine development and distribution, but also because of another 2015 TED talk, where the technology first warned that the world was unprepared for a “inevitable” global pandemic.
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