Mark Sidney|Opinion| Everyone’s favorite elitist billionaire technocrat, Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, recently took part in an ‘ask me anything’ or AMA, on Reddit.
AMA’s are opportunities for everyday users of a platform to ask someone, in this case Bill Gates, you guessed it … anything. Of course Gates picks the questions which he wants to respond to and ignores the ones he does not.
Not surprisingly, given Bill’s obsession with infectious diseases, and the fact that the world in is the middle of a pandemic, the majority of the questions centered around Coronavirus.
During the event Gates suggested that, America would need to ‘shut down’ the country for about 10 weeks. There are others who want to lock down the country for an entire quarter, and even others who want to shut it down for a year and a half.
I am not trying to suggest that human life is not important, or show a lack of sympathy for the sick, however, if we are to shut down the economy for 3-18 months, we will end up with a depression the likes of which no one has ever seen, or even contemplated.
Of course men like Bill Gates has nothing to worry about with his tens of billions of dollars, he and his pals would likely be in the position to buy up America’s assets for pennies on the dollar, right along with the communist Chinese.
Thanks to The Gateway Pundit, Here are just a few of the highlights from the AMA:
Essentially, it says that by doing nothing, 4 million Americans die. Through the mitigation strategy – i.e. social distancing and “flattening the curve” – it says that 1.1-2 million Americans will die. However, it also says that the suppression strategy, or “shutting everything down for 18 months” – will lead to only a few thousand people dying.
Do you agree with these numbers, and if so, is there any excuse for not immediately issuing a shelter in place order for the entire country?
Answer: Fortunately it appears the parameters used in that model were too negative. The experience in China is the most critical data we have. They did their “shut down” and were able to reduce the number of cases. They are testing widely so they see rebounds immediately and so far there have not been a lot. They avoided widespread infection. The Imperial model does not match this experience. Models are only as good as the assumptions put into them. People are working on models that match what we are seeing more closely and they will become a key tool. A group called Institute for Disease Modeling that I fund is one of the groups working with others on this.
Question: What about the current crisis worries you the most? What gives you the most hope?
Answer: The current phase has a lot of the cases in rich countries. With the right actions including the testing and social distancing (which I call “shut down”) within 2-3 months the rich countries should have avoided high levels of infection. I worry about all the economic damage but even worse will be how this will affect the developing countries who cannot do the social distancing the same way as rich countries and whose hospital capacity is much lower.
Question: Do you think there’s any chance of the US doing a staggered approach (with respect to social distancing measures and school closings) to keep the load at health care facilities manageable? I saw this idea presented in the recent paper from Imperial College and I’m curious what your thoughts are.
Answer: I think people in the US will be able to largely isolate for 2-3 months. If they can access testing including a home test kit then they will understand who is infected. I keep saying how important the testing piece is.
The Gateway Pundit noted: ‘It’s easy for Bill Gates, who recently became a centibillionaire, to shelter in place in his giant mansions, tennis courts, pools, and acreage. The rest of us peasants? Not so much. But Gates has no idea what it’s like to live as a normal person. Some people brought this up, that the lives lost from an economic catastrophe would be more than those lost by the Covid 19 pandemic, such as this comment:’
There is a wide misconception about the feasibility of storing months worth of food while living paycheck to paycheck.
Not to mention, now your employer is closed due to the coronavirus.
The recession will inevitably be more damaging to the America Worker than the coronavirus itself.
This was the first thing I thought of. He’s dodging questions left and right in this thread about supporting people/causes financially and keeps repeating the same shit; just stay in your house anywhere from 2-6 months. Lmfao. Yeah Okay Bill. So easy.
TGWP also pointed out that ‘Several people also asked him about the Event 201 pandemic simulation that the Gates foundation helped to organize last fall, and Gates never addressed those questions.’
I want to be very clear that I am not suggesting we do nothing or that the economy is the only thing that matters. We must find some middle ground where we can avoid an unprecidented financial collapse AND mitigate the damage from the virus.
Let’s not forget that it is estimated that during the Great Depression unemployment was at about 25% according to Rocketswag.com and the GDP shrank by 40%. Some historians blame the Great Depression, at least in part, for the rise of Nazism, Fascism and Communism, with collective death tolls over 100,000,000 people.
Again, I am not saying we do nothing, but this coin has two sides and each must be addressed if we are to come up with a solution that is not ‘worse than the disease.’