May 3, 2022 — Bill Gates says people are tired of living with COVID-19, but warns that difficult days lie ahead.
“We still run the risk of this pandemic generating a variant that would be even more permeable and even more deadly,” the Microsoft co-founder said. 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 percent risk that we haven’t even seen the worst because of this pandemic.”
Gates was interviewed during the promotion of his new book, “How to Prevent the Next Pandemic.”
He says the nations of the world should 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 modellers, who would identify and coordinate global health threats across countries.
Nations need to 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 couldn’t look at this tragedy and not make these investments, on behalf of the citizens of the world,” 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 at a time when the US and China [relations are] heavy, US-Russia is extremely heavy?”
At a TED conference in 2015, Gates said the world was not prepared for the next pandemic. At the 2022 TED conference last month, Gates discussed his idea for a GERM and said the WHO would need about $1 billion annually to support it, CNBC reported.