GS: Microsoft founder Bill Gates speaking

(The New England Journal of Medicine.)  Bill Gates said the coronavirus that has killed at least 2,859 people and infected more than 83,700 globally may be the “once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about.”

While Donald Trump calls “HOAX” and acts as if COVID-19 is being hyped by the Democrats and the media, Bill Gates has a longer and very dufferent perspective.  Gates has warned that the world isn’t prepared for an infectious disease outbreak. He made similar remarks on the Ebola outbreak, which was declared a public health emergency of international concern by WHO. His foundation similarly donated millions of dollars to combat that disease.

Our ability to treat a new virus or a new strain of a virus depends on how lethal the virus is versus how quickly we can become immune.  A virus that is very lethal acts rapidly and does not rapidly induce our bodies to produce new antibodies could, as happened with the Spanish Flu in 1918 kill massive numbers of people worldwide.  This is why we work so hard every year to find new viruses as early as possible so we can produce vaccines.  But, the development of a new vaccine takes a year or more.

To add to the concern, even in the US, we lack the number of hospital beds that could be required if we experienced an epidemic.  The situation is far worse in third world countries where Gates is committing finds to care for people infected with the virus.

Gates aid, “I hope it’s not that bad, but we should assume it will be until we know otherwise. ..   First, it can kill healthy adults in addition to elderly people with existing health problems.  Second, Covid-19 is transmitted quite efficiently. The average infected person spreads the disease to two or three others — an exponential rate of increase.”

The mortality rate is “many times more severe than typical seasonal influenza,” Gates said. The World Health Organization said the mortality rate of COVID-19 can differ, ranging from 0.7% to up to 4%, depending on the quality of the health-care system where it’s treated. Gates said that its current average estimated fatality rate of around 1% places it somewhere between the 1957 Asian flu pandemic (0.6%) that killed 1.1 million people and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic (2%) that killed 50 million around the world, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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