Bill Gates: US Pandemic Response is 'Shocking'

He also doesn't expect a vaccine before Election Day
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2020 11:24 AM CDT
Bill Gates Doesn't Expect Vaccine by Election Day
A file photo of Bill Gates.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Bill Gates has some bad news for President Trump, who has suggested that a coronavirus vaccine could be available by Election Day. Gates tells CNBC that he doesn't see it happening. "None of the vaccines are likely to seek approval in the US before the end of October," he says. However, he thinks that up to three leading companies—Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca—could seek approval in December or January. Of those, he adds that it's possible Pfizer could reach that point by the end of next month and seek an emergency OK, but that's only if everything goes perfectly with ongoing clinical trials. (As AstraZeneca knows, setbacks are not uncommon.)

In a separate interview with Bloomberg, Gates voices disappointment with both the CDC and the FDA in regard to the pandemic. "We saw with the completely bungled plasma statements that when you start pressuring people to say optimistic things, they go completely off the rails," says Gates. "The FDA lost a lot of credibility there." And in another wide-ranging interview with STAT, he blasts the "mismanaged" US response in general: "It's shocking. It's unbelievable—the fact that we would be among the worst in the world." His wife, Melinda, tells Axios that COVID has wiped out long-standing progress on vaccinations and poverty. "Basically, eight months of COVID reversed gains in almost every category that had been made steadily over the last couple of decades," she says. The interviews coincide with the release of their foundation's 2020 "Goalkeepers" report. (More Bill Gates stories.)

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