On March 24 Bill Gates gave a highly revelatory 50-minute interview to Chris Anderson. Anderson is the Curator of TED, the non-profit that runs the TED Talks.
The Gates interview is the second in a new series of daily ‘Ted Connects’interviews focused on COVID-19. The series’s website says that:
TED Connects: Community and Hope is a free, live, daily conversation series featuring experts whose ideas can help us reflect and work through this uncertain time with a sense of responsibility, compassion and wisdom.”
Anderson asked Gates at 3:49 in the video of the interview – which is quickly climbing to three million views – about a ‘Perspective’ article by Gates that was published February 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“You wrote that this could be the once-in-a-century pandemic that people have been fearing. Is that how you think of it, still?” queried Anderson.
“Well, it’s awful to say this but, we could have a respiratory virus whose case fatality rate was even higher. If this was something like smallpox, that kills 30 percent of people. So this is horrific,” responded Gates.
“But, in fact, most people even who get the COVID disease are able to survive. So in that, it’s quite infectious – way more infectious than MERS [Middle East Respiratory Syndrome] or SARS [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome] were. [But] it’s not as fatal as they were. And yet the disruption we’re seeing in order to knock it down is really completely unprecedented.”