A warning to the president: Trying and failing to reopen the economy before economic activity is organically ready to resume could have dire economic consequences.
— Michael R. Strain (@MichaelRStrain) March 24, 2020
Bill Gates says the U.S. missed its chance to avoid coronavirus shutdown and businesses should stay closed. t.co/SMVDtETHzt
— CNBC (@CNBC) March 24, 2020
- Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates answered questions about COVID-19 during a “TED Connects” program.
- Gates said the United States missed its chance to avoid stay-at-home orders because it didn’t act fast enough on the pandemic.
- He added that the U.S. needs to ramp up its testing abilities.
“The U.S. is past this opportunity to control (COVID-19) without shutdown,” Gates said during a TED Connects program broadcast online. “We did not act fast enough to have an ability to avoid the shutdown.”
“It’s January when everybody should’ve been on notice,” Gates added. The virus was first discovered in December in China.
Government officials across the country have advised or directed residents in the past days to stay home in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus that’s infected at least 46,500 people in the U.S. Many locations, including California, New York City and Washington, D.C., have ordered all nonessential businesses to temporarily close. As a result, unemployment claims are surging and markets are hitting multiyear lows.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he wants businesses to open by Easter, April 12, to soften the economic impact. Government officials and health experts have widely criticized these calls, warning that bringing people back to work will overwhelm the health-care system and lead to more deaths.
Gates acknowledged Tuesday that self isolation will be “disastrous” for the economy, but “there really is no middle ground.” He suggested a shutdown of six to 10 weeks.
“It’s very tough to say to people, ‘Hey keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner, we want you to keep spending because there’s some politician that thinks GDP growth is what counts,’” Gates said. “It’s hard to tell people during an epidemic … that they should go about things knowing their activity is spreading this disease.”
Ending quarantine measures prematurely because stock market bubble burst and coming election will increase mortality significantly, cause more fear, stock market will plunge into the oblivion that will trigger massive global unstoppable financial armageddon
— xTrends (@xtrends) March 24, 2020
Free by Easter.
Sick by Memorial Day.
Dead by the 4th of the July.#ReopenAmerica
— Brad Huston (@BradHuston) March 24, 2020
NYS GOVERNOR CUOMO: 'NO AMERICAN IS GOING TO PUT THE ECONOMY OVER HUMAN LIFE'
— *Walter Bloomberg (@DeItaOne) March 24, 2020
Entire countries are shutting down because they know the human and economic cost of not shutting down will be much higher than the cost of shutting down for a while.
This here is saying tens of thousands dead would be acceptable collateral damage. t.co/HtfCh71W9t
— Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) March 24, 2020
Worse than bedbugs…. shutdown seems unavoidable pic.twitter.com/I1DAUApDxh
— THE LONG VIEW ⚫️ (@HayekAndKeynes) March 24, 2020