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Bill Gates Warns Of Next Two Threats World Faces After Predicting Virus Outbreak

by : Julia Banim on : 07 Feb 2021 11:07
Bill Gates Warns Of Next Two Threats World Faces After Predicting Virus OutbreakPA Images

Bill Gates has warned of the next two disasters facing our planet, having already predicted the outbreak of a virus in the past.

During a Ted Talk delivered in 2015, the Microsoft founder famously predicted the spread of ‘a virus where people feel well enough while they’re infectious that they get on a plane or they go to a market,’ warning that the world simply wasn’t prepared for the next epidemic.

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At the time, many of those watching Gates’ talk won’t have realised how quickly this prediction would come to pass, and watching it back feels more than a little disquieting.

You can watch Gates’ TED Talk, titled The Next Outbreak? We’re Not Ready below:

Six years on and Gates has reflected on his prescience in light of the ongoing pandemic, commenting, ‘There’s no good feeling that comes with something like this, saying ‘I told you so’.’

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During an appearance on the Veritasium YouTube channel, uploaded on February 4, Gates told host Derek Muller:

Could I have been more persuasive? There are a number of respiratory viruses and from time to time one will come along.

Respiratory diseases are very scary because you’re still walking around on a plane, a bus when you’re infectious. Unlike some other diseases like Ebola where you are mostly in a hospital bed by the time viral load infects other people.

You can watch Gates’ recent conversation with Muller below:

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Gates then proceeded to offer a few more predictions for the future, neither of which will exactly leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside:

One is climate change. Every year that would be a death toll even greater than we have had in this pandemic.

[…] Bio-terrorism. Somebody who wants to cause damage could engineer a virus and that means the cost, the chance of running into this is more than the naturally-caused epidemics like the current one.

Gates also went on to remark that humans beings do not have the power to prevent future pandemics, although ‘we could increase our preparedness so we never have a death toll anywhere near what we have today’. Whether or not this time the world will choose to listen to him remains to be seen.

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus and want up to date advice, visit the Gov.uk help page here. If you need medical help call NHS 111 or visit online.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Science, Bill Gates, Pandemic

Credits

Veritasium/YouTube and 1 other
  1. Veritasium/YouTube

    I Asked Bill Gates What's The Next Crisis?

  2. TED/YouTube

    The next outbreak? We’re not ready | Bill Gates