Bill Gates: 'Final Hurdle' for COVID-19 Vaccine is Ensuring People Take It
Billionaire issues warning over fears public may refuse to take drug
Bill Gates has warned that the "final hurdle" for a new COVID-19 vaccine will be ensuring that the public takes it.
The Microsoft founder expressed his concerns that people may refuse to use the drug after Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week that a coronavirus vaccine might be ready to roll out to the public by the end of 2020.
Gates, the second richest man in the world, says this would be one hurdle that governments will need to overcome.
In an interview with CNN this week Gates reminded viewers that once a safe and effective vaccine was actually ready, people will need to be convinced to take it.
“You’ll have a choice of whether you take the vaccine or not,” Gates said.
“So there’s that final hurdle.”
Speaking to Anderson Cooper at a CNN town hall on Thursday, the Microsoft billionaire insisted the US was “experiencing a rebound” in COVID-19 infections even accounting for the increase in testing.
That increase, the software tycoon reminded his interviewers, was accomplished by local governments in spite of – not because of – the White House.
Gates seemed miffed that Washington wasn’t following his instructions more closely, complaining that “it’s possible to ramp up testing for a new pathogen very, very fast” if they’d just do as they were told.
He blamed the higher infection numbers in the US, which continues to lead the world with upwards of 2.5 million confirmed cases and over 125,000 deaths, on the nation’s failure to adopt the same measures as everyone else.
“Other countries” are “restraining their behavior,” imposing restrictive lockdowns and quarantines, and adopting comprehensive contact tracing, Gates hinted, sounding impatient with America's “very large case spread,” which he called “embarrassing.”
"Some people almost feel like [Covid-19 is] a political thing, which is unfortunate," he added.
“Even to inconvenience themselves with masks requires maybe someone they know to not only test positive but maybe get very sick as well.”
Gates, who has repeatedly expressed a desire to inoculate the world’s population with whatever vaccine emerges from the research laboratories he is funding, admitted the shot might be rolled out before it’s working perfectly.
“It’s possible the vaccine will be better at protecting you individually and not stop you from transmitting…it’s not guaranteed that the vaccine will be a perfect transmission blocker.”
Boasting that “the logistics in the US are not an issue at all,” Gates bragged that “we can get this thing out there” before acknowledging that “you’ll have a ‘choice’ whether you take the vaccine or not, so there’s that final hurdle.”
The billionaire seemed unconcerned by the “vaccine hesitancy” factor, however, even though over a third of Americans have professed some concern over the safety of a coronavirus vaccine, citing the politicization of the issue, the rushed timetable, the less-than-stellar reputation of some of the individuals involved, and other issues.
Some 70 to 80 percent of the world’s population will have to take the vaccine before anyone can hope to live a normal life again “with people taking vacations,” travel, and sporting events, Gates explained, implying they had no choice.