Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has been talking about the timing of the coronavirus vaccine, and he has another update. In an interview with Bloomberg, he also talked about hydroxychloroquine, a controversial treatment for COVID-19, and the conspiracy theory that he’s using vaccine research to control people’s minds using 5G.
In discussing the timing of the coronavirus vaccine, Bill Gates said the first one "won't be ideal in terms of its effectiveness against sickness and transmission." He also said it might not last long and will "mainly be used in rich countries as a stopgap measure."
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He added that the world would be "lucky" to have any COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year. However, Bill Gates said the timing of the coronavirus vaccine will be next year because he believes multiple vaccines will be approved then.
"The strongest response will probably come from the protein subunit," he said. "With so many companies working on it, we can afford quite a few failures and still have something with low cost and long duration."
In addition to the timing of the coronavirus vaccine, Bill Gates also talked about whether getting vaccinated might be made mandatory. He said sometimes making something mandatory could backfire. However, he also said they might make it mandatory for people who work in a nursing home or are exposed to elderly people.
Gates added that the two times he has been to the White House since 2016, he had to listen to anti-vaxxers talk. He finds it "ironic" that people are still questioning vaccines and believes a vaccine is absolutely necessary to get out of a pandemic.
New 5G conspiracy theory
One conspiracy theory claimed that 5G actually causes the coronavirus, but there's a new conspiracy theory tying Bill Gates to 5G and the coronavirus vaccine. It's not even the first conspiracy theory involving Gates and the COVID-19 vaccine.
The new conspiracy theory claims he is researching vaccines with the goal of controlling people's minds using 5G technology. He called the idea "strange," saying that conspiracy theorists take the fact that he is "involved with vaccines and they just reverse it." He said they are suggesting that "instead of giving money to save lives," Gates is "making money to get rid of lives."
"If that stops people from taking a vaccine or looking at the latest data about wearing a mask, then it's a big problem," he added.
Gates talks hydroxychloroquine
Bloomberg asked the Microsoft co-founder about hydroxychloroquine, which the White House has promoted even though some say it isn't an effective treatment for COVID-19 and can even cause heart problems in some patients.
Gates called the current time "an age of science" but added that "sometimes it doesn't feel that way." He explained that "in the test tube," the drug looked like a good treatment for COVID-19, but not there are many other drugs coming that are proven to work without having serious side effects.
He expects the treatment innovations researchers have been working on to start reducing the death rate. However, he doesn't expect the pandemic to truly end until herd immunity is reached from the vaccine and spread of natural infections. He expects that milestone to be reached next year in the "rich countries," ideally in the first half of the year.