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Bill Gates on COVID-19 Vaccine: We Would Be 'Lucky' to Have One by the End of 2020

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Bill Gates offered his take on the coronavirus vaccines currently being tested in clinical trials.

During an interview with Bloomberg, the Microsoft Corporation magnate expressed concern about the timeline President Donald Trump is touting for an approved coronavirus vaccine.

Although the president has claimed there could be a vaccine by the end of the year, specifically before Election Day, Gates is not confident about the effectiveness of an expedited vaccine.

According to Gates, it “won’t be ideal in terms of its effectiveness against sickness and transmission. It may not have a long duration, and it will mainly be used in rich countries as a stopgap measure.”

As for when an approved vaccine could be made available to the public, Gates believes we would be “lucky” to have one by the end of 2020. However, next year maybe a bit more promising.

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“We’d be lucky to have much before the end of the year. But then, in 2021, a number of other vaccines are very likely to get approved,” he added. “With so many companies working on it, we can afford quite a few failures and still have something with low cost and long duration.”

Gates’ latest remarks come days after his appearance on CNN. During an interview with Fareed Zakaria, Gates criticized the United States government’s testing capacity.

According to Gates, it is “mind-blowing” that testing has not yet improved despite the country being several months into the pandemic.

“It’s mind-blowing that you can’t get the government to improve the testing because they just want to say how great it is,” Gates said. “I’ve said to them, look, have a [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] website that prioritizes who gets tested.”

He also expressed concern about the prolonged testing results, which he views as “worthless.” He also suggested an incentive that would push laboratories to produce effective test results in a more sufficient and timely manner.

“Don’t reimburse any test where the result goes back after three days. You’re paying billions of dollars in this very inequitable way to get the most worthless testing results of any country in the world,” Gates said.

See Gates’ remarks below:

As the United States’ number of confirmed coronavirus cases approaches 5.4 million, the country’s death toll stands at 169,610.

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