Bill Gates sat down with WSJ Editor in Chief Matt Murray for a virtual chat during the paper’s CEO Council, part of the paper’s nascent push into conferences and events.
This, of course, is just the latest installment in Bill Gates’ campaign to convince western governments to essentially “step up” and finance a global mandatory vaccination campaign, something that would cost trillions of dollars, given the 7 billion-plus people in the world.
And he doesn’t hold back: Gates acknowledged that Western countries are “far ahead” of Russia and China when it comes to developing and testing various vaccine candidates – though China seems to draw nearer by the day – and if the leading candidates prove successful and win their FDA emergency approvals before year-end, the west could see life return to ‘some semblance of normal’ by the second half of next year.
“By late next year you can have things going back pretty close to normal – that’s the best case,” Gates said. “We still don’t know whether these vaccines will succeed,” Gates said. “Now the capacity will take time to ramp up. And so the allocation within the US, and between the U.S. and other countries will be a very top point of contention.”
Of course, Gates’s timeline is even longer than that unfurled by the Trump Administration and its top officials who have said a mass-produced vaccine could be ready by the beginning of Q2, suggesting vaccination campaigns could be well underway by the start of next summer.
All this remains to be seen, however.
Western companies are “far ahead” of their foreign competitors, and Gates predicted that Chinese and Russian vaccines likely wouldn’t be widely used in the West. Though, to be fair, Russia and China are already striking deals with countries to partner and produce doses as countries like India scramble to get their hands on a vaccine as quickly as possible.
“The one Russian construct and six of the Chinese constructs are perfectly valid constructs actually with some similarities to what the Western companies are doing, but the Western companies are further ahead on doing these phase three studies,” Gates said.
As he typically does, Gates took a minute to plug CEPI,