Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates warned in a letter released Wednesday that the world must prepare for the next pandemic like war, including investing tens of billions of dollars a year.
“We can’t afford to be caught flat-footed again,” wrote Microsoft co-founder and his wife Melinda in an annual letter.
“The threat of the next pandemic will always hang over our heads – unless the world takes steps to prevent it.”
To avoid future destruction on the scale caused by Covid-19, “preparing for pandemics must be taken as seriously as we are taking the risk of war,” Gates said.
“Stopping the next pandemic will require tens of billions of dollars to be spent annually – a huge investment. Just keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to cost the world an estimated $ 28 trillion,” he added.
“The world must spend billions to save trillions (and prevent millions of deaths).”
The American, ranked the third richest person in the world by Forbes, urged rich countries to make the bulk of the investment, suggesting that their governments could benefit most from it.
Investments in future diagnostic and vaccination technologies should be complemented by “a global warning system that we do not have on a large scale today” so that epidemics can be detected and responded to at an early stage, the letter says.
Gates was known to raise the alarm about the risk of global pandemics at a 2015 TED conference.
He now advocates the creation of a team of around 3,000 fully trained, professional pandemic “firefighters” who are on constant alert.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has already invested US $ 1.75 billion in combating the coronavirus pandemic and in promoting and funding vaccination projects in developing countries.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)