The billionaire Microsoft founder made his sobering warning during an interview with CNN over the weekend.
“Well, sadly, the next four to six months could be the worst of the epidemic,” he told anchor Jake Tapper in discussing lockdowns and his support for extreme restrictions such as stay-at-home orders issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom.
“Bars and restaurants in most of the country will be closed as we go into this wave, and I think sadly that’s appropriate,” Gates continued. “You don’t want somebody you love to be the last to die of coronavirus.”
Tapper then asked: “When do you think life will fully return to what we thought of as normal back in January? No masks, no social distancing, no other protective measures necessary.”
His response was rather chilling.
“Certainly, by the summer we will be way closer to normal than we are now,” replied Gates, “but even through early 2022, unless we help other countries get rid of this disease and we get high vaccinations rates in our country, the risk of reintroduction will be there.”
.@BillGates on Covid: “Even through 2022” we should be prepared for life to not return to “normal”
Says “sadly” it’s “appropriate” for bars and restaurants to close over the next “four to six months” pic.twitter.com/cmDD8pv3XR
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 13, 2020
Bill Gates Supports Lockdowns, Closing Bars and Restaurants
Bill Gates went on to suggest that while shutting down bars and restaurants would be advisable, and that lockdowns may continue in some form into 2022, shutting down schools is a bit of a trickier question.
Further along in the interview, he noted a balancing act that would be necessary in determining whether or not to keep schools open as COVID cases rise.
Gates surmised keeping schools open is more “complicated” than other businesses because the benefits of in-person learning are high while transmission rates among children are low.
Restaurants may be more complicated as well.
Los Angeles County Health Department data, it turns out, indicates that a small percentage of COVID-19 outbreaks have been tied to restaurants and bars.
“Restaurants have been linked to less than 4% of coronavirus outbreaks in non-residential settings, according to data from L.A. County,” ABC 7 reported.
— Rusty Weiss 🇺🇸 (@rustyweiss74) December 14, 2020
Gates Expresses Hope For a Biden Administration
In the interview with Tapper, Gates expressed optimism about the prospects of a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration.
“I’m pleased with the people and the priority that President-elect Biden and his team are bringing to bear on this problem,” he said.
Of those people, the billionaire believes Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been wrong in dealing with the pandemic on several occasions, is a positive move.
“Biden is doing his best to retain Francis Collins and Tony Fauci and add them to that strong group of people,” Gates said.
“These are people who are willing to admit when things aren’t going well and deliver top messages, particularly about the next four to six months.”
Remarkably, Gates took a shot at President Trump for prioritizing the vaccine for American citizens first saying it is a “selfish” move and downplayed the administration’s role in getting it approved in record time.
On Monday morning, President Trump celebrated the vaccine with a tweet.
“First Vaccine Administered,” he announced. “Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!”
Read more at the Political Insider