One of the richest and wealthy philanthropist and public health advocate and founder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates shared his thoughts about the diagnostic testing situation in the U.S. and also criticized the U.S. Covid-19 testing as “utter trash”. In an interview given to Wired Gates have told that “The majority of all U.S. tests are complete garbage”. 

    From the beginning of the spread of the Covid-19 virus, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been provided heavy funds for Covid-19 testing and coronavirus vaccine research. The reason for his disappointment was not regarding the quality of the tests or the accuracy of the results provided by the tests, but rather it is about how much long time taken to get the results. Even he called that delays “stupidity” in the same interview.

The United States is one of the countries where the spread of coronavirus is at its peak. And the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S. is still high. Inadequate Covid-19 infection testing infrastructure has hampered the United States’ response since the beginning of the pandemic outbreak. Due to this, the United States is facing a lot of criticism for its belated measures in controlling or containing the spread of the coronavirus. The recent person who made a remark on his country’s response to the corona pandemic situation is the CEO of Microsoft Bill Gates. 

For years, Gates had warned that the U.S. has to be very well prepared to face a massive pandemic situation. He even mentioned that the country’s performance on containing the pandemic is “disappointing”. He mentions it as insane of taking more than 48 hours to produce the coronavirus test results and he also says it as a complete waste of both money and time as people are not given the time to self-isolate them before they spread it to others. He criticizes the U.S. by saying that it was the only country to waste the most money on tests.

Bill Gates mentioned that there is one massive problem with the Covid-19 tests in the United States was it is taking a long time period for the test results to come. The delays in testing make some people wait for weeks to learn whether their Covid-19 test is positive or negative. Gates says that it is not a good thing to take a too long time to produce the test results, as people fail to take the necessary safety measures on time and unknowingly they continue to spread the infection.  He even suggests a solution to this problem. He suggests that medical providers shouldn’t receive payments for conducting Covid-19 tests if they can’t produce the results within 48 hours. He also suggests that the companies taking the Covid-19 tests should be reimbursed on how long it takes for the test results to be returned. He also ensures that this problem will be fixed overnight if we have the reimbursement system of paying a little bit extra if the results came within 24 hours, paying the normal fees if the results came within 48 hours of the time period, and pays nothing if it doesn’t do within the 48 hours.    

In the United States, it takes more than a week to receive the coronavirus test results. Gates says that it is really “frustrating” to know that the public health authorities are taking too long to come back with the testing results of the candidates. He argues that delaying the test results makes the already infected person infect others as well. He even expresses his opinion that these tests are “completely worthless” tests. Gates told in an interview that the saddest thing in today’s scenario is that the major percentage of the testing is completely useless because the health authorities are taking a long time gap to provide the results, as the results don’t come back in 24 hours. The tech tycoon Bill Gates says that the handling of the pandemic situation by the federal government is disappointing but not shocking.

There is a large amount of false information and fake stories are available in the social media platforms regarding the coronavirus tests and treatments. He also called on the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg to concentrate on combating the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories on Facebook.

He also accused that the labs not only of delaying the results but also assuring the public for reimbursements and making ridiculous money out of that. And most rich people can afford it. He also expressed his thought about a reliable vaccine. Bill Gates, who is supporting the development of several vaccine candidates, has expected the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shortly known as CDC to do better in dealing with this Covid-19 outbreak. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is providing support to several leading vaccine candidates financially including the one being developed by AstraZeneca which has been collaborated with Oxford University.

Gates hopes that by the end of 2021, the novel coronavirus can be ended on a large scale, as there are so many innovations have been coming efficiently. He shares that more effective vaccines might take a little longer for its development. And the effective treatments for  Covid-19 viral disease would also be developed which would help to save a large number of lives across the globe.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has also decided to provide at-risk funds of $150 million to the Serum Institute of India to help them in the manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines. As per the new agreement, the Serum Institute of India(SII) will be responsible for supplying vaccines up to 100 million doses not only for India and also for middle or low-income countries in the world for an amount around 225 rupees. Usually, it will take several years or a considerable time period to create or produce a vaccine. With the improving technologies in the medical field, it is expected that the coronavirus vaccine will be likely available by the starting of next year. If it happens, then it will be considered as the fastest vaccine ever developed.

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