Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, criticized the U.S. response to the coronavirus, telling CNBC the nation ranks “quite low compared to other countries” in executing testing and delivering a clear message on safe social practices such as wearing masks. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO:
Without mentioning Trump, Gates said that unlike the U.S., many countries have “done very, very well” using the behavioral tools available to help blunt the spread of the coronavirus. The founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to tackle complex global health challenges, said it has nothing to do with politics.
“That’s a purely technical thing, not a political thing. Most governments take advantage of their scientists and listen to them. They don’t undermine them and attack them,” he said. “Mask compliance in the United States is quite poor. And yet the cost of the mask and the productivity lost from [not wearing] the mask, it’s quite an intervention.”
Gates also pointed out that social measures such as masks, social distancing and hand-washing are the primary tools to fight Covid-19 until “therapeutics or vaccines get out there in big numbers.”
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