As the COVID vaccine starts rolling out across the USA, Bill Gates has offered some predictions for 2021 - and it's a real mixed bag.
Bill Gates has offered his predictions for 2021 ...
via: ShutterstockAnd it has left many feeling worried.
The year looks set to be a rollercoaster.Gates truly didn't hold back.
Now, of course, 2020 was nothing short of terrible.
via: GettyThe coronavirus pandemic took the entire planet hostage back in March and things have been diabolical, to say the least.
Originating in Wuhan, China, the virus spread across the world at an alarming rate...
via: GettyIt's totally changed the entire world.
Many people have tragically died as a result...
And even more alarmingly so, the United States of America is the worst affected country in the world.
Many believe the terribly high number of deaths could have been prevented...
via: GettyIf certain individuals listened to the experts and practiced social distancing and mask-wearing!
There's no denying how unprepared the entire world was for this pandemic...
via: GettyAnd Donald Trump's eagerness to tone down the virus didn't at all go to plan.
And even when the president tested positive for COVID himself...He continued to play it down and insist that we can simply "live with the virus."
This was extremely alarming for many to hear from one of the most powerful leaders in the world...
@realDonaldTrump “Don’t let it dominate you!” It’s like Trump is saying the >210,000 who have died were weak, like… https://t.co/NQxMWCwa0k— MURRAY (@MURRAY)1601944995.0
Pharmaceutical organizations from all around the world have been working tirelessly to create a vaccine...
via: ShutterstockBut, to begin with, they didn't have much luck.
However, last month we were finally offered some good news.
American multinational pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer, and German biotechnology company BioNTech, have been working on a coronavirus vaccine for the last few months.
And as for the results so far?
Well, they're looking so good that some countries have started distributing the COVID vaccine out to their citizens.
Sandra Lindsay, a nurse from Queens, New York, was the first person to receive the vaccine in the US."I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history," she shared.
But in spite of this good news, Bill Gates has had some harsh words about the US pandemic response.
Getty"The US would have been expected to be the best – we have the CDC, we have the most PCR machines, we’ve got the NIH, and sadly, before the epidemic and the first 2 or 3 months, we didn’t get on top of it," he explained.
He also spoke about the dangers of vaccine distribution.
GettyClaiming focusing the vaccines on American citizens was not the "appropriate response."
"We need to help all of humanity here."
Getty"We want the world economy to be going, we want to minimize the deaths."
He warned against hoarding of the vaccine.
Getty"Blocking international sharing and cooperation has been disruptive and a mistake."
He also warned against a rush of returning to "normal."
Getty"We’ll have 9 months where a few things - where public gatherings - will still be restricted."
Getty"But we can see now somewhere between twelve and eighteen months from then that we have a chance to get back to normal."
He also confirmed he would be happy to take the vaccine.
And expressed hope for a better response to the pandemic under new President Joe Biden.
He also shared his views on the future.
"We can't afford to be caught flat-footed again," he wrote in his annual newsletter.
"To prevent the hardship of this last year from happening again, pandemic preparedness must be taken as seriously as we take the threat of war."
"No one needs to be convinced that an infectious disease could kill millions of people or shut down the global economy."
"Speed matters in a pandemic."
"The faster you act, the faster you cut off exponential growth of the virus."
He thinks the first months of 2021 will be particularly difficult.
With the ongoing threat of COVID, plus increasing worries about climate change.
The first challenge we must overcome is vaccine distribution.
"Unfortunately, there are still not many factories where you can build mRNA products. Some must also be stored at temperatures as low as -70 ° C, which makes them particularly difficult to distribute in developing countries, although this is more of an engineering challenge than a scientific barrier," he explained.
But Gates did offer some reasons to be hopeful.
"Still there are two main reasons to be hopeful . One is that masks , social distancing and other interventions can slow the spread of the virus and save lives while vaccines are being implemented."
"In the spring of 2021, the vaccines and treatments that you have been reading about in the news will begin to reach the scale where they will have a global impact."
"A year from now, I think we will be able to look back and say that 2021 was an improvement over 2020."
"The change may not be huge, but it will be a step forward, remarkable and measurable for people all over the world."
We certainly hope so!