Responding to COVID-19 —
A Once-in-a-Century Pandemic?
By Bill Gates
Excerpt from the New England Journal of Medicine, where the article originally appeared.
In any crisis, leaders have two equally important responsibilities: solve the immediate problem and keep it from happening again. The COVID-19 pandemic is a case in point. We need to save lives now while also improving the way we respond to outbreaks in general. The first point is more pressing, but the second has crucial long-term consequences.
The long-term challenge — improving our ability to respond to outbreaks — isn’t new. Global health experts have been saying for years that another pandemic whose speed and severity rivaled those of the 1918 influenza epidemic was a matter not of if but of when. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed substantial resources in recent years to helping the world prepare for such a scenario.
Now we also face an immediate crisis. In the past week, COVID-19 has started behaving a lot like the once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about. I hope it’s not that bad, but we should assume it will be until we know otherwise.
Read more about the actions Bill Gates proposes leaders should be taking now. You can read the full article on GatesNotes.
March 30, 2020
COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator Awards $20 Million in Initial Grants to Fund Clinical Trials: Partners in the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator announced grants of $20 million to three institutions—the University of Washington, University of Oxford, and La Jolla Institute for Immunology—to fund clinical trials in order to identify highly potent immunotherapies for the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants mark the first investments to come from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator.
March 25, 2020
Life Sciences Companies Commit Expertise and Assets to the Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic Alongside Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation along with a consortium of life sciences companies announced an important collaboration to accelerate the development, manufacture, and delivery of vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments for COVID-19. The life sciences industry brings a range of assets, resources, and expertise needed to identify effective and scalable solutions to the pandemic, which is affecting billions worldwide.
March 10, 2020
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard Launch Initiative to Speed Development and Access to Therapies for COVID-19: The Gates Foundation and Wellcome are each contributing up to $50 million, and the Mastercard Impact Fund has committed up to $25 million to catalyze the initial work of the accelerator. The Gates Foundation’s funding is part of its up to $100 million commitment to the COVID-19 response announced last month.
March 4, 2020
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Commits $5 Million to Help Public Health Agencies in Greater Seattle Area Respond to COVID-19: The foundation will work in coordination with Public Health-Seattle & King County, the Washington State Department of Health, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help them enhance their capacity to detect and treat COVID-19 and guide public health efforts to reduce transmission. Part of this effort will explore how the resources of the Seattle Flu Study could be pivoted toward emergency efforts to monitor and respond to COVID-19.
February 5, 2020
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Dedicates Additional Funding to the Novel Coronavirus Response: The foundation will provide up to $100 million to improve detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations in Africa and South Asia; and accelerate the development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics.
January 26, 2020
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Commits $10 Million to Global Response to 2019-nCOV: The foundation is committing $5 million to the 2019-nCoV response in China and is already working with a range of Chinese public and private sector partners to accelerate national and international cooperation in areas of critical need, including efforts to identify and confirm cases, safely isolate and care for patients and accelerate the development of treatments and vaccines.