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Gates Likens Coronavirus Pandemic To World War II, Says 'Impossible To Overstate The Pain'

Gates Likens Coronavirus Pandemic To World War II, Says 'Impossible To Overstate The Pain'

In an 11-page memo released Thursday, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) founder Bill Gates writes that the fight against COVID-19 will define the present era the same way the second world war shaped an earlier generation.

We Are On The Same Side

Gates writes that no one who survives this pandemic will “ever forget it.” He says, “It is impossible to overstate the pain that people are feeling now and will continue to feel for years to come.”

Likening the pandemic to a world war, he writes damage to health, wealth and well-being has already been enormous. “This is like a world war, except in this case, we’re all on the same side. Everyone can work together to learn about the disease and develop tools to fight it. I see global innovation as the key to limiting the damage.”

We Are Headed Towards Semi-Normality 

The Microsoft founder provides a ray of hope for the near future, saying, “In one sense, it is easy to describe this next phase. It is semi-normal.” He thinks people will be able to go out but not to crowded places. Gates asks us to “Picture restaurants that only seat people at every other table, and airplanes where every middle seat is empty. Schools are open, but you can’t fill a stadium with 70,000 people.”

Most Of The Story Is Yet Untold

Gates also wrote for the Economist on Thursday and claimed the bulk of the story would be “what happens next.” He reasons,” Even if governments lift shelter-in-place orders and businesses reopen, humans have a natural aversion to exposing themselves to disease.” His line of thought is that such hatred will lead to diminished crowds at airports, and sports will be played in “basically empty stadiums.” The world economy will remain depressed due to a lack of demand.

Vaccination Could Create History

According to Gates, life will only return to normal when most of the world’s population is vaccinated against COVID-19. He says mass production of this vaccine will only happen by the second half of 2021.

With regard to the development of a vaccine, Gates opines, “It will be a history-making achievement: the fastest humankind has ever gone from recognizing a new disease to immunizing against it.”

The Bill Gates’ foundation has increased coronavirus vaccine and diagnostics funding to $250 million. Foundation co-chair and Gates’ spouse Melinda Gates has criticized President Donald Trump for cutting the United States funding to the World Health Organization.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of


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