Bill Gates: Getting a COVID-19 vaccine by 2H21 would be ‘history-making achievement’

Getting a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine by second half 2021 would be “history-making achievement,” Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says.

The novel coronavirus pandemic will define the modern era in the same way World War II shaped an earlier generation, Gates says in a 11-page memo outlining his ideas on how best to tackle the disease. “This is like a world war, except in this case, we’re all on the same side,” he writes.

Sandi Doughton for The Seattle Times:

COVID-19 vaccine: COVID-19He warns it will not be a fast or easy process. “It is impossible to overstate the pain that people are feeling now and will continue to feel for years to come,” he says.

“A lot of people will be stunned that in many places we will go from hospitals being overloaded in April to having lots of empty beds in July,” Gates writes. “The whiplash will be confusing, but it is inevitable from the exponential nature of infection.” But as restrictions loosen, infections will flare and begin to grow rapidly at many sites…

More than 100 potential treatments are being studied — but most of them won’t work, Gates says. He ranks the antiviral drug remdesivir as one of the more promising prospects, along with plasma and antibodies from people who have recovered… The Gates Foundation is funding trials on hydroxychloroquine, the drug often touted by President Donald Trump, but Gates says it appears its benefits will be modest, at best… The only long-term solution is a COVID-19 vaccine. With greatly accelerated research, it could take as little as nine months — or as long as two years — to develop one, Gates says. Then it will have to be approved by governments and mass-produced so the world’s 7 billion people can each get one or two doses, depending on the vaccine type.

As most countries move into what Gates calls the “second phase of the epidemic” over the next two months, he foresees a “semi-normal” world. “People can go out, but not as often, and not to crowded places,” he says. “Picture restaurants that only seat people at every other table and airplanes where every middle seat is empty.” Schools will reopen, but not stadiums.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully the race to a COVID-19 vaccine will be won as quickly as possible because waiting until the second half 2021 or even longer, until the first half 2022, seems untenable (although we’re sure we’ll all adjust as best we can; humans are quite adaptable when push comes to shove). Here’s to this century’s Jonas Salk!

68 Comments

  1. Please stop implying that the only thing we need to wait for is a “saviour” vaccine. over 95% of ALL cases have survived this disease AND 100% have recovered WITHOUT a vaccine. That is because we ALL have a defence against the virus…it is called our IMMUNE SYSTEM.

    AND So far, the world-wide numbers are coming in as no worse than a bad flu season. And if you think Italy is a poster-child of what to expect, it is mostly a combination of their vulnerable demographics and a very poor medical system that gets overrun even during flu seasons.

    So let’s keep things in perspective.

    1. As a pulmonologist who took care of 20 patients on ventilators last week, let me tell you that your comment is at best uninformed, and at worst criminal.

      Everyone of your points above can be debunked if you care to use a search engine. Mortality is 10X that of the flu if your healthcare system is not overburdened, and 100X if it is overburdened.

      If you think the US has a better healthcare system than Italy, than you don’t know what is coming your way. How many people will have to die before you will stop spewing your nonsense on computer forums?

      Talk to a doctor or nurse actually taking care of these patients. Maybe they can knock some sense into your brain, if you have one.

      1. @Tiger, I respect that you are qualified but you are on the front lines, so are subject to bias. You are actually performing a logical fallacy of extrapolating from a small sample. (BTW ad homonyms do not make your argument more valid.) Here are some REAL stats to help:

        3 weeks ago Lancet Medical Journal published a preliminary study estimating that the actually world-wide mortality rate is about 0.66%; yes, less than1%
        https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30243-7/fulltext

        Also, just recently release “… a study in Santa Clara County using immunity tests found that rather than the 1,000 confirmed cases, between 48,000 and 81,000 people in the area actually had the virus.

        In Los Angeles, another study showed that in a community thought to have roughly 8,000 cases… instead has somewhere between 221,000 and 442,000.

        In Chelsea, near Boston… a random sample showed that one-third of those tested had already come in contact with the coronavirus.”

        And the results: “As The Los Angeles Times reports:

        “Based on their results, the Stanford researchers estimated the mortality rate in Santa Clara County to be between 0.12% and 0.2%.”

        This is well in line with the Lancet and other studies.

        I do not deny that people are dying. And it is TRULY sad if you are the one that is directly or indirectly affected by this illness (or any other for that matter), but death is a fact of life. But the stats are showing that this is turning out to be no worse that a bad flu season (overall), in terms of numbers.

        The biggest issue is the number of simultaneous cases, causing an overwhelming of the medical system in SOME places. Italy IS worse for 3 main reasons…they have the second oldest population in the world (one of the most vulnerable to these kinds of illnesses, similar to seasonal flues), living in close confines with close family, and they ARE known to have a terribly inadequate medical system; well documented. They even often get overwhelmed in even flu seasons.

        BTW, I have been following this situation every since it started and the numbers have never added up and have been skewed for a very long time. And also, you know nothing about my qualifications. I won’t try to impress you with mine.

        That said, thanks for being on the front line. Your work is appreciated. May you continue to stay safe and in good health.

        1. Smayer97:

          On a day when MDN had some truly astonishing comments, yours probably takes the prize.

          You are telling a pulmonologist, a physician who specializes in respiratory diseases just like COVID-19, that he is at least disqualified (if not unqualified) to express a valid opinion on a subject squarely within his professional training and experience. You base this on the theory that Tiger’s personal experience makes him biased, and therefore LESS qualified to offer an opinion than somebody who lacks his expertise.

          Isaac Asimov’s observation has never been more apt than today:

          “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

          1. @TxUser I never disqualified @Tiger. He/she is dealing with a microcosm of a sample. I like to deal with FACTS that encapsulate the BIGGER picture, from reliable and authoritative sources, NOT ignorance as you purport.

            Ad homonym attacks never make an argument more valid.

            1. I don’t think you know what “ad hominem” means. I rejected your argument because it is a bad argument, not because you are a bad person (which you aren’t, as far as I know). My only “attack” was on the notion that experience in a subject can make an expert’s opinion less authoritative. One assumes that somebody who passed the specialist boards in pulmonology is familiar with the relevant literature on the respiratory diseases that he treats. I am certainly not a doctor, but I can figure out what the majority of doctors are saying about something. That is very different from cherry-picking sources that support a pre-existing point of view.

            2. The point actually is your opinion does not matter in this case and has no prospect of providing insight becuase you have no expertise in the area. So be quiet and listen.

            3. @JG oh bother…

              Your comment is simply an opinion. I have presented facts (though only a very small sample). If you have comprehensive relevant facts, please do share.

              BTW, you know nothing of my background or expertise. But that is irrelevant. The facts matter.

            4. And the Santa Clarita stats are a microcosm if a sample. Also, it’s extremely poor form to go to the press or even direct without publication and peer review.

              If the Santa Clarita results are to be believed then a segment of society has an extremely higher rate of mortality than the average.

              Show me one year, one, where the flu killed 50,000 in five weeks in the US.

            1. @TxUser your Isaac Asimov quote implied an ad hominem. And your other fallacy is appealing to authority. Whatever his experience, and personal opinions aside, the facts are not cherry-picking but are statistically very significant published by respected authorities.

              Prove the facts wrong.

            2. I can’t “prove the facts wrong.” Facts are facts. Whether a particular assertion is a fact requires an assessment of all the evidence by somebody who is qualified to assess it. All that the rest of us can do is rely on their judgment. Whether Covid-19 is deadly, or no more than “a mild flu,” is obviously in dispute.

              Since I do not plan to attend medical school and complete a residency in epidemiologiy, I have to rely on the opinions that have been widely accepted within that field. The number of undiagnosed infections is open to debate. What isn’t is the very high proportion of cases that are serious enough to merit medi

              I would like to finish this comment, but one of MDN’s damned ads is covering the input field. I closed it, but the “Ad closed by Google” still covers the critical part of the page. Makes me want to take MDN off my whitelist.

            3. The high proportion of cases that merit a call to the doctor that progress to require hospitalization and risk death. That isn’t remotely like flu. All those people in hospitals have economic consequences as profound for themselves and society as if they were locked down.

            4. I have never asserted that the Wuhan virus is the same as the flu. I merely stated that the impact from a numbers perspective is about the same as the flu; very important distinction.

              The impact of this virus on a individual can be severe, especially among the identified vulnerable populations, e.g. elderly, those with compromised pulmonary systems, diabetes, etc. But these also happen to be the same population that are most vulnerable to seasonal flus too.

              As you stated…”Facts are Facts”. You do not have to spend years as an epidemiologist but you do need to understand statistics. And I understand statistics, and the progression of diseases.

              There are many factors that go into the impact this virus has had on the medical system. But you have to step back and look at the big picture to understand it. It is important not to mistake the impact on individuals or groups as being the same as the impact on a society as a whole.

              Based on what is known, this virus is behaving not much differently from the flu from the perspective of the number of people and types of people impacted. The severity to those impacted is a separate issue.

            5. BTW, what MANY studies are basically showing is that the efforts to contain this virus has had little impact over all. Its spread is FAR WIDER than anyone has conceived.

              In the end, that is a good thing because it points to the fact that its impact (numbers) is and will be very low over all because herd immunity is taking place and most immune systems are strong enough to defend against this virus.

          1. smayer97 = Sliar! Your comments about the health system in Italy are laughable. Northern Italy is one of the wealthiest regions of Europe with state-of-the-art healthcare. Look no further than NYC—it’s barely coping. Anecdotal reports point to a partial healthcare breakdown in the UK, while their numbers rocket. Right-wing conspirators like yourself have seized on the uncertainty about infection and mortality rates as an opportunity to spread their brand of treacherous disinformation. Aren’t you clever? Of course, the numbers that we see are confirmed cases and deaths attributed to the virus. The simple truth is the only way to know how many people were infected is to test the ENTIRE population. The best statistical estimates only arrive long after the fact—by, for example reviewing health data, and examining the fatality rate for that period, etc. In the mean time, I will put my faith in the true experts, while you watch your earth-is-flat scientists on YouTube.

            1. Again, ad homonym attacks never make an argument more valid.
              And labelling anything or anyone with whom you disagree as “right-wing” shows your lack of objectivity.
              As I point out, there are now PLENTY of DATA showing exactly what you claiming needs to be examined, offered by real experts.
              Don’t let the facts confuse you.

            1. @TxUser and @applecynic Lancet IS a peer reviewed journal, as an example.

              Don’t make arguments just to be contrarian. Do the research and look at the facts!

              BTW, ever notice how this social “distancing” quickly turned into social isolation? And the worldwide facts are that this has done little to slow the spread or the impact of this so-called “calamity”. Comparing countries that did vs did not shows no meaningful differences. :-\

            2. @applecynic to what reference are you talking about? If you mean my comment about Lancet, the link is near the top of the comment section…just search for Lancet.

            3. Ok, you insist that the total fatality rate for Covid-19 is 0.1% or less. New York City has had 11,460 deaths, as of this morning (that does not include 5213 probables). At 0.1%, that means that 11,460,000 City residents have been infected. New York City’s population is about 8,550,000. Since 134% of the population is already infected, where are the people still being hospitalized coming from?

            4. @TxUser. Ok, this shows you really need to understand statistics… Like I pointed out before, your math is correct BUT you are applying the math incorrectly.

              The death rate is an overall calculation, WORLD WIDE. This means that some areas are going to be higher and some are going to be lower. Just like Italy, Spain, France for examples, are higher, whereas Germany, N. Korea, Iceland, etc are much lower. Likewise goes for NY vs other parts of the US. It is NOT linear as it is NOT evenly spread.

              This does NOT change the FACT that the overall death rate is MUCH MUCH lower that originally feared, and NOWHERE NEAR the original talk of 3-5% death rate WORLD WIDE.

              Context is EVERYTHING! Forest for the trees… FOREST for the trees!

              HTH

            5. Obviously I understand that the total and case fatality rates represent the mean across all places and times. However, for all the fatal cases from places with prevalence above the mean, there must be exactly as many cases from places below the mean. Since 20% of all US deaths come from NYC, which has 2.6% of the population, the average for the rest of the country must be significantly lower than the overall mean.

              The Five Boroughs aren’t the only hot spot. The surrounding Tri-State region also has deaths far above the national per capita average, as do Detroit, New Orleans, Boston, and several other places. That puts the fatality rates in non-hotspot localities lower still. That seems inconsistent with the notion that the novel coronavirus is so highly infectious that nearly everybody everywhere has caught it.

              If that were true, why are fatality rates so spectacularly higher in some places than in others? The mainstream answer from most public health experts is that virus infections are more common in more densely populated locations. That explanation fails if nearly everybody in the low density spots has also been infected.

            6. @TxUser You are asking good questions and I appreciate you willing to continue to dig deep. But you you state “That seems inconsistent with the notion that the novel coronavirus is so highly infectious that nearly everybody everywhere has caught it.” That is incorrect. No one is saying that everybody everywhere has caught it. Instead, what is being said is that the spear of the virus is significantly higher than originally thought. And that the fatality rate is not as significant.

              It has been acknowledged in many places that we have not yet achieved herd immunity levels and have a way to go, in other words, not everyone has been exposed. But enough have been exposed to show that this is not as serious of an issue as it was originally feared. Again OVER ALL.

              You also say “If that were true, why are fatality rates so spectacularly higher in some places than in others?”. Though the answers to all the questions are still not in, there is a lot of info to explain what is going on. Did you watch the video at the facebook link I posted here? This addresses many of the questions you raise, from front line doctors sharing unfiltered raw data with a large population sample. They also explain the science of biology, immunology, and virology that speaks to several of your questions, including who is actually dying and why. If you have not, I recommend that you give it a go.

      2. If your thinking was in effect for WW2, we would all be speaking German now, since trying to save everybody by shutting them in, we would have lost. I get it. People dying is horrible. But is it more horrible than destroying the world? And that will happen when society breaks down by continuing this madness. Natural selection is the way to go here. Ask Sweden.

        1. Ok, I can see your argument. These are extreme circumstances when individual human lives must be sacrificed to avoid financial hardship for other, fitter individuals.

          When can the National Abortion Rights Action League expect your check?

        2. Actually we can make a “Sophie’s Choice” of this. Sacrifice a couple million people and open the economy or sacrifice a couple thousand US billionaires, take their money and distribute it. 7 or 8 trillion would go a long way. Since the billionaires are “superior” to the rest of the masses in our “meritocracy”, they’ll just earn it all back in a few years. They are harder workers you know, cream rises to top. If we look where the money funding the anti shut down protests, much of that coming from our dynastic US family trusts. (Judicial Watch, Turning Point derived from Olin, Rauner, DeVos, Melon/Scaife trusts and others).

    2. It’s closer to a 99.9% survival rate, the total number of asymptomatic infections is astronomically higher than what tests have detected. The obsession with injecting everyone with a vaccine is about social control. Bill Gates is a psychopath who has no business dictating public policy about anything.

      1. I prefer Apple over Microsoft. Microsoft the company irritates me, and their products annoy me. I admire Steve Jobs over Bill Gates. Jobs was the profound technological visionary. But Jobs could be a bastard, and Gates, by all accounts, is a very agreeable chap. Bill Gates and his wife have spent a significant amount of money and a large part of their lives working towards health and combating poverty in the developing world. Calling Bill Gates a “psychopath” disqualifies you from the discussion.

        1. Bill Gates aspires to be an oligarch. He prefers communism to freedom. And he made a garbage operating system. But I still have a Microsoft Table coffee table tablet. Gates was an incredible visionary.

        2. Anyone who wants to forcibly inject 7 billion people with multiple vaccines, from factories he controls no less, while having adamantly refused vaccinating his children, is a cold-blooded, diabolical maniac.

    3. Your comment is not only completly unimfomed it’s also completly wrong. It’s the type of comment that would be be made by someone suggesting you drink household disinfectant as a cure! Leave the insigt to medical experst. Now stay home and be safe.

      1. @JG Uninformed? So your immune system does not protect you? you must be sick all the time then…hmmm…

        Seems like I have been presenting informed data. “Household disinfectant”? Now that reply is helpful and insightful.

        How about you stick to just the facts, ma’am; just the facts.

        1. your facts are just one persons interpretation of the data. Based on an estimate of how many there are, if you base the number of cases on a guess that there are 50 to 85 times the number that is the current wisdom.

          1. The “guess” of there being a range of 50 to 85 times the number is based on scientific measurements, so is not a true guess. The range is a statistically significant and based on an accurate methodology and factors in a margin of error. That is why it is a range.

            And this is not just one study. I have pointed out 3 above, and there are more with similar results. So this is not a single data point. Replication of the results is what is telling here. That’s science.

            1. @CitizenX again, I listed 4 different independent studies so far…and there are more. And some ARE already peer reviewed.

              forest for the trees!

        2. It’s a PLANdemic. Those who have not realized this yet will probably never get it (until it’s too late). They are the unfortunate ones who are spoon fed the news and do not make decisions based upon their own reasoning. The Pulmonologist has valid points but is only seeing sick people. I repeat… the Pulmonologist is only seeing sick people. The latest stats prove that the CV is only slightly more lethal than your everyday Flu virus… and you know what protects you from any and all sickness… your immune system… certainly not Bill Gates. Bill just wants in on the action.
          If you are healthy, resist this tyranny at all costs. It is clearly a PLANdemic.

  2. BTW, anything less than at least 4 years to get to market with ANY vaccine would be BEYOND MONUMENTAL and therefore hugely suspect of the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

  3. “This is like a world war, except in this case, we’re all on the same side,”

    On the same side but stealing from each other! The U.S. government poaching supplies, especially N95 masks from Germany, Canada. Other countries & states within the U.S. doing the same thing.

    “The White House has told them not to rely on the federal government because it’s just a “backup,” and to find their own gear.”

    Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, says his state placed an order for millions of N-95 respirator masks — but never got them. “We had our 3 million masks that we had ordered … confiscated in the port in New York,”

    https://www.wuft.org/nation-world/2020/04/15/governors-say-fema-is-outbidding-redirecting-or-poaching-their-medical-supply-orders/

  4. By then, everybody would either be dead or this turns into the zombie apocalypse, with world economies gone for good, and food riots people will just start to kill each other to take possessions.

    Vaccine must be ready by July 2020, or you can kiss the world goodbye. Wait and Watch children.

    1. Get the facts. Though the initial rates have been higher, especially in certain communities, over all death rate is working to be less than 1% by MANY accounts, and mostly affecting much of the same vulnerable populations not much different than seasonal flu. FAR from the zombie apocalypse.

      Just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts.

  5. What blows my mind about MDN is they post science/medical stories on a site that is suppose to be dedicated to all things Apple IIRC. I like reading about Apple products, it’s ecosystem, and it’s impact on our daily lives but this COVID-19 thread takes the cake and is out of place here.

      1. @C-x, and the always peaceful and rational liberal team, of which you are a member, will calmly discuss the current events like those in a church knitting circle.

        The left…maturely above the fray and a guiding light to all.

        Thank you so much.

      1. WOW! Why is this site filtering out a facebook post?

        Let’s try this:
        go to facebook…. add to the URL the following:
        /terrencekwilliams
        /videos
        /219266722698502/

        1. BTW, a comment in the video posted on facebook makes a reference to the administration requiring coding many deaths as COVID-19, even if the cause of death is NOT COVID-19, as long as COVID-19 is even circumstantially a possibility, thereby inflating the COVID-19 related cases, attributing cause to this virus even in the absence of proof.

          It appears that the doctors did not want to draw attention as to where this directive was truly coming from. Well, many doctors have pointed this out that a letter and instructions came DIRECTLY from the CDC. You can actually read the instructions yourself here:

          Click to access vsrg03-508.pdf

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