Bill Gates Called For A 'Universal Flu Vaccine,' Now The CDC Director Says The Organization Is 'Activated' After Issuing Bird Flu Alert

Bill Gates warned about the risk of pandemics well before COVID-19. 

In 2018, he predicted that "there is a significant probability of a large and lethal, modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes" because of "the continual emergence of new pathogens, the increasing risk of a bioterror attack and how connected our world is through air travel."

The same year, Gates announced a $12 million initiative to "accelerate the development of a universal flu vaccine."

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Now, after a Texas man recently became infected with bird flu after close contact with an infected cow, scientists are concerned about the potential of a pandemic worse than COVID.

John Fulton, founder of Canadian pharmaceutical company BioNiagara, warns that this strand of bird flu "appears to be 100 times worse than COVID, or it could be if it mutates and maintains its high case fatality rate."

For now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is telling the public to remain calm, with its Principal Deputy Director Dr. Nirav D. Shah saying, "The risk overall for the general public remains low."

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However, in light of the increasing number of cattle herds in America contracting the bird flu virus, Shah stresses the CDC is prepared for what may be ahead, saying, "Make no mistake, the CDC is activated as a result of these findings."

If a pandemic breaks out, investors won't have to reach too deep into history for ideas on how markets will react, given the 2020 COVID pandemic that rocked financial markets and the broader economy.

Pandemic darling mRNA vaccine-makers such as BioNTech SE BNTX and Moderna Inc. MRNA have seen their stocks fall 76% and 77% from their respective peaks but could be poised to bounce back if fears around the bird flu virus continue to escalate.

Gates-backed German mRNA company CureVac CVAC has climbed even further to reach its past all-time high, with its stock down over 97% since then.

Humanity can only hope bird flu doesn't begin to spread easily via person-to-person transmission.

From 2003 to 2016, the virus has killed over 50% of people infected, while the current bird flu outbreak has already hit at least 82 million birds across 48 states.

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