American billionaire Bill Gates has said the United States missed the opportunity to stay ahead of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
The novel coronavirus has infected more than 1,016,000 people and killed over 53,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The US has reported more than 245,500 cases, with over 6,000 deaths. Top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has called for a federally mandated stay-at-home order.
However, Gates, on his twitter handle said all the work that rich countries were doing now to develop vaccines would save lives in developing countries too.
“Without a vaccine, those countries are at even greater risk than wealthy ones, because it’s even harder for them to do physical distancing and shutdowns.
“If everything goes well, there might be an effective vaccine in less than 18 months—the fastest a vaccine has ever been developed. That will depend on decisions we make today, including the federal government investing in building up manufacturing capacity.
“There’s no question the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the novel #coronavirus. But the window for making important decisions hasn’t closed. The choices we and our leaders make now will have an enormous impact,” he said.
Gates said in the meantime, frontline health care workers were making heroic efforts to test and treat patients across the United States and the world.
“Here in my hometown, Public Health Seattle & King County is doing incredible work that we should all be very proud of.
“If we make the right decisions now—informed by science, data and the experience of medical professionals—we can save lives and get the country back to work,” he said,