Bill Gates Takes On The Flu

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Bill Gates is building on his legacy of charity, investment in the future and his recent prediction of an upcoming financial crisis by putting up millions to fund a universal flu vaccine.

While speaking to the Massachusetts Medical Society, Gates announced that he would be putting up a $12 “Grand Challenge” to fund research to develop a universal flu vaccine. “The goal is to encourage bold thinking by the world’s best scientists across disciplines, including those new to the field.”

A Warning Of A Pandemic

In his speech announcing the prize, Gates stressed that the money was part of his warning of an impending pandemic. By announcing the money, he could draw attending to the lack of preparation for such a disaster, especially in areas of the world that do not have the resources of the west.

“If history has taught us anything, it’s that there will be another deadly global pandemic. We can’t predict when. But given the continual emergence of new pathogens, the increasing risk of a bioterror attack, and how connected our world is through air travel, there is a significant probability of a large and lethal, modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes.”

The worldliness of modern times is easy to imagine, and easy to imagine how it can get out of hand. I’m preparing a meal this evening learned from a friend who just got back from south east Asian. At dinner on Friday, the table next to us had just landed from another country. And that’s just two examples I can pull from the air without thinking too hard about where else I had been. It would only take a day for a contagious illness to show up in North America.

Gates: Pandemic Could Kill Millions

During his speech, Gates built on his comparison that a disease pandemic can be as deadly as war by adding that he has spoken with national security experts to learn about the risks associated with worldwide disease. This includes “multiple” meetings with Trump’s previous National Security Adviser.

Bill Gates confirmed to listening media that yes, Trump’s White House has the qualifications to coordinate in the event of a large scale response to a biological threat.

[READ MORE: Why You Should Take Work Off When You Have a Cold]

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During WW1, the Spanish Flu was responsible for killing more people than did the war itself. Approximately one-third of the earth’s population was infected with the flu, and its victims were estimated at between 20 million and 50 million dead. Included in that total were 675,000 Americans.

The cost of the Great War itself was more than 16 million people, almost 7 million of which were civilian.

At the end of this winter, we announced that this year had been the worst in a decade for hospitalizations related to the flu.

According to Kristen Nordlund, press officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ‘We’re seeing more of the Influenza A-H3N2 than any other strain.’ And any year in which this is the dominant strain tends to be worse than usual — just like during the horrible 2014-15 season, which saw an estimated 34 million people come down with the flu. Norlund added, ‘We know in general those seasons tend to be more severe especially for older adults and young children.’

Bill Gates Warned of ‘Financial’ Crisis

Giving an online interview a few weeks ago, Gates was asked if he thought there would be a financial crisis like the one that happened in 2008 in the near future, and his answer agreed that there would be one:

“Yes. It is hard to say when but this is a certainty. Fortunately we got through that one reasonably well. Warren has talked about this and he understands this area far better than I do.

“Despite this prediction of bumps ahead I am quite optimistic about how innovation and capitalism will improve the situation for humans everywhere.”

At the time of writing earlier this month, I noted that Bill Gates was probably quoting Warren Buffett when he discussed the future.

Gates doesn’t offer a time frame, and it’s unsure if he means that the crisis will be limited to the western world, but it sounds like Warren Buffett is already prepared for the upcoming “bumps ahead” prediction. Since the first user didn’t talk about “bumps ahead,” I’ll guess that “bumps ahead” is directly from Buffett’s mouth.

Sources: The Hill, Newsweek

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