Billionaire Bill Gates has spoken out about the pandemic and its effect as he suggested that lockdowns could drag on into 2022.
As the Microsoft founder predicted in his interview with Jake Tapper of CNN, “the next four to six months could be the worst of the epidemic,” whereas authorities could be forced into extending restrictions all the way into 2022.
“Forecast shows over 200,000 additional deaths. If we would follow the rules in terms of wearing masks and not mixing, we could avoid a large percentage of those deaths. So in the near term, it’s bad news,” Gates said.
The billionaire went on to show his support for coronavirus restrictions as he said he believes it is appropriate to close most bars and restaurants in the country.
“Well certainly mask-wearing has essentially no downsides. Bars and restaurants in most of the country will be closed as we go into this wave, and I think sadly that’s appropriate,” he added.
As the conversation progressed, Tapper went on to ask the billionaire what a potential date for life’s return to the normal was according to his predictions.
“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,” Tapper asked.
“Certainly, by the summer we will be way closer to normal than we are now – 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,” Gates responded.
As he admitted, this will not only economically hurt America but also contribute to slowing down the global economy.
“So we will have, starting in the summer, about nine months where a few things like big public gatherings will still be restricted,” Gates said.
“But we can see now that somewhere between 12 to 18 months, we have a chance, if we manage it well, to get back to normal.”
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