Bill Gates on Covid: Most US tests are “completely garbage”
I guess you won’t have a hard time paying, Bill, so you could ask for anything.
Well, I don’t want special treatment, so that’s a tricky thing. More antivirals are in two to three months. The antibodies are two to three months away. We have already seen a two-fold improvement in hospital results, and that is only with remdesivir and dexamethasone. These other elements will be added to that.
You helped finance a Covid diagnostic testing program in Seattle, it got faster results, and it wasn’t that intrusive. The FDA put it on hold. What happened?
There’s this thing where the health worker blocks the deep turbinate, at the back of your nose, which hurts and makes you sneeze on the healthy worker. We have shown that the quality of the results can be equivalent if you just put a self-test in the tip of your nose with a cotton swab. The FDA made us jump through a few hoops to prove that you don’t need to refrigerate the result, that it can go back in a dry plastic bag, etc. So the delay was just a normal double check, maybe too cautious but not based on a political angle. Because of what we have done at the FDA, you can buy these cheaper swabs which are available in the billions. So anyone who uses deep turbinate now is just plain obsolete. This is a mistake, because it slows things down.
But people don’t get their tests back fast enough.
Well, it’s just stupidity. The majority of all American tests are completely rubbish, wasted. If you don’t care about the date being late and pay back at the same level, of course, they’ll take every customer. Because they make ridiculous money, and it’s mostly the rich who have it. You have to ask the refund system to pay a little more for 24 hours, pay the normal fees for 48 hours, and pay nothing [if it isn’t done by then]. And they will fix it overnight.
Why are we not doing this?
Because the federal government is establishing this reimbursement system. When we tell them to change it, they say, “As far as we can tell, we’re just doing a great job, it’s amazing!” Here we are, it is August. We are the only country in the world where we waste the most money on testing. Secure the refund. Configure the CDC website. But I was on this one, and people are tired of listening to me.
As someone who has built your life on science and logic, I’m curious what you think when you see so many people embracing this anti-scientific view of the world.
Well, strangely enough, I’m involved in almost everything fighting science. I am involved in climate change, GMOs and vaccines. The irony is that it’s digital social media that allows for this kind of exciting and overly simplistic explanation: “OK, there’s only one evil person, and that explains it all.” And when you have [posts] encrypted, there is no way to know what it is. Personally, I believe the government should not allow these types of lies, fraud or child pornography. [to be hidden with encryption like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger].
Well, you’re friends with Mark Zuckerberg. Did you tell him about it?
After saying this publicly, he emailed me. I love Mark, I think he has very good values, but he and I disagree on the tradeoffs involved. Lies are so exciting that you have to be able to see them and at least slow them down. Like this video where, what do they call it, the sperm woman? It got over 10 million views! [Note: It was more than 20 million.] Well how good are these guys at blocking stuff where once something got all 10 million views and everyone was talking about it they didn’t remove the link or the ability to research? So it didn’t make sense. They say, “Oh, now we don’t have it.” What effect did it have? Anyone can go watch this stuff! So I disagree a bit with how these conspiracy theories spread, a lot of which is anti-vaccine stuff. We literally give tens of billions for lifesaving vaccines and then people turn around and say, “No, we’re trying to make money and we’re trying to end lives. “It’s kind of a savage inversion of our values and backgrounds.