Recently, Bill Gates said COVID is kind of like the flu and called it the disease of elderly people with low fatality but eventually hedged.
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Bill Gates is not an immunologist and does not even appear as one on television.
However, through his philanthropic foundation, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft has immersed himself in the study of the world’s issues and donated billions of dollars to combat the spread of malaria in Africa. People pay attention when he speaks, which makes what he said regarding COVID-19 last week intriguing.
“It wasn’t until early February, when I was in a meeting, that experts of the foundation, said ‘there’s no way’” that COVID-19 could have been contained, he said.
“At that point, we didn’t really understand the fatality rate. We didn’t understand that it’s a fairly low fatality rate, and that it’s a disease mainly of the elderly, kind of like the flu, although it’s a bit different than that,” Gates said.
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He eventually backtracked, stressing that Americans must be cautious while criticizing the initial response to the virus. “That was a pretty scary period,” he added, “where the world didn’t go on alert, including the United States, nearly as fast as it needed to.”
Gates also spoke about the current strain of the virus and the effectiveness of vaccines. “Once Omicron comes along, the vaccine is not reducing transmission, hardly at all, particularly about three or four months after you take the vaccine,” he said.
His remarks came after top authorities from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the same thing, claiming that COVID-19 is now as contagious as the flu.
“FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, Principal Deputy Commissioner Janet Woodcock and the agency’s top vaccine official, Dr. Peter Marks, wrote that COVID-19 will be in circulation for the foreseeable future and must be accepted as another common virus in the Journal of the American Medical Association,” said officals. “Like with influenza, this new reality will likely require annual COVID-19 shots to be tailored around the most threatening strains of the virus, the officials wrote.”
“Widespread vaccine- and infection-induced immunity, combined with the availability of effective therapeutics, could blunt the effects of future outbreaks. Nonetheless, it is time to accept that the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is the new normal,” the officials added. “It will likely circulate globally for the foreseeable future, taking its place alongside other common respiratory viruses such as influenza. And it likely will require similar annual consideration for vaccine composition updates in consultation with the [FDA].”
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