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Bill Gates Calls for Nationwide Lockdown


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In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Microsoft founder Bill Gates is calling for a nationwide shutdown in order to “make up for lost time” fighting the coronavirus.

“There’s no question the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the novel coronavirus,” Gates writes in the Washington Post. “But the window for making important decisions hasn’t closed. The choices we and our leaders make now will have an enormous impact on how soon case numbers start to go down, how long the economy remains shut down and how many Americans will have to bury a loved one because of covid-19.”


“First, we need a consistent nationwide approach to shutting down,” Gates says of the first step the country needs to take in order to prevent the virus from spreading, adding, “because people can travel freely across state lines, so can the virus.”

Secondly, Gates suggests ramping up testing, writing, “far more tests should be made available…demand for tests will probably exceed the supply for some time, and right now, there’s little rhyme or reason to who gets the few that are available. As a result, we don’t have a good handle on how many cases there are or where the virus is likely headed next, and it will be hard to know if it rebounds later.”

When it comes to testing, Gates writes in his opinion piece for the Washington Post, “The country needs clear priorities for who is tested. First on the list should be people in essential roles such as health-care workers and first responders, followed by highly symptomatic people who are most at risk of becoming seriously ill and those who are likely to have been exposed.”

Lastly, Gates writes, “we need a data-based approach to developing treatments and a vaccine. Scientists are working full speed on both; in the meantime, leaders can help by not stoking rumors or panic buying.”

“To bring the disease to an end, we’ll need a safe and effective vaccine,” Gates shared in his opinion article for the Washington Post. “If we do everything right, we could have one in less than 18 months — about the fastest a vaccine has ever been developed. But creating a vaccine is only half the battle. To protect Americans and people around the world, we’ll need to manufacture billions of doses.”

“We can start now by building the facilities where these vaccines will be made,” Gates advises. “Because many of the top candidates are made using unique equipment, we’ll have to build facilities for each of them, knowing that some won’t get used. Private companies can’t take that kind of risk, but the federal government can. It’s a great sign that the administration made deals this week with at least two companies to prepare for vaccine manufacturing. I hope more deals will follow.”

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