Tags: Coronavirus | bill gates | vaccine | microsoft | coronavirus

Bill Gates: Government 'Abdicated' Vaccine Responsibility to States

bill gates sits in chair onstage
Microsoft principle founder Bill Gates participates in a discussion during a luncheon of the Economic Club of Washington June 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 03 December 2020 01:33 PM

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose foundation has given $450 million toward the response and vaccine development for COVID-19, said Thursday he thinks the federal government may be giving too much responsibility to the states for the upcoming immunization programs, and that could make distribution of the shots "tricky."

"The federal government has abdicated some of its responsibilities in a public health crisis," Gates told NBC News' "Today" anchor Savannah Guthrie. "The federal government has way more resources than the states. Punting it to the states means it won't be perfect, but it'll get done."

The United States would have done better with dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, but the blame for that falls on the "administration overall," and not only President Donald Trump, said Gates. 

"As we do the postmortem, there will be a lot of things like confused messaging, lack of leadership, that will fall on the executive branch, and we'll hope that the next time we do a lot better," he said. 

Gates added that he'll "definitely" get the shot when it's his turn, and he's not worried that there will be a widespread reluctance to the vaccine among the public.

"If this was like measles and we had to get up to, like, 95% (immunized) I'd be very worried," he said. "As it is, we only have to get up to probably 70%." 

Meanwhile, Gates said it looks as if all the vaccines will succeed in fighting the disease.

"It is great science, great industrial manufacturing, great cooperation, even across countries," he said. "This is a war. We're all in it together."

But people must still double down on their efforts while waiting for the vaccine, Gates stressed.

"A hundred thousand lives that are projected to be lost in these months ahead, 50,000 of those would be saved if we had high mask compliance," Gates said. "The most impactful thing is associating with people less, you know, wearing a mask wherever you might be exposed to someone outside your household."

Still, it's "unheard of" for vaccines to be coming out so quickly, said Gates, calling the news that vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna had been tested to have a 90% or higher efficacy rate "phenomenal."

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Politics
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose foundation has given $450 million toward the response and vaccine development for COVID-19, said Thursday he thinks the federal government may...
bill gates, vaccine, microsoft, coronavirus
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2020-33-03
Thursday, 03 December 2020 01:33 PM
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