WASHINGTON — Microsoft founder Bill Gates wants to see a new global alert system, mass testing systems and a quick-responding international infectious disease force developed to respond quickly to future pandemics in the wake of COVID-19.
“We need to spot these outbreaks as soon as they happen anywhere in the world. And that requires a global alert system,” Gates said.
Gates said in a video presentation Feb. 1 that there needs to be faster international responses to future pandemic such as COVID-19.
“We can get ahead of infectious disease outbreaks,” said Gates, who is co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and top proponent of vaccines worldwide.
Gates said there are lessons to be learned from the coronavirus pandemic.
Those include new mass testing platforms and technology. Gates termed these “mega testing diagnostic platforms.” “They can be deployed quickly, cost very little and test 20% of the entire population every week,” Gates said in the video which was posted on social media.
The billionaire technologist also wants to see new international global alert system and international response force developed to respond quickly to outbreaks across the world.
Gates also touted monoclonal antibodies, mRNA vaccines as ways to battle COVID and future viruses and diseases.
Unlike traditional vaccines which inject weakened or inactive viruses or germs into patients, MRNA vaccines send genetic messages to cells to produce more proteins and immune response to viruses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Gates said MRNA vaccines will be quicker to develop and easier to store than traditional vaccines.
Monoclonal antibodies are proteins produced in laboratories that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens such as viruses, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. The FDA approved some lab-produced antibodies as coronavirus treatments in November.“
These manufactured antibodies grab onto the virus and disable it just like your immune systems and can reduce death rates by as much as 80%,” Gates said.Maryland state health officials are also promoting monoclonal antibody treatments for some COVID-19 patients.
“While the distribution of vaccines is a top priority, monoclonal antibody treatments are another tool that can help patients fight COVID-19. Monoclonal antibody treatments can reduce patients’ symptoms and help prevent hospital admissions,” said Acting MDH Secretary Dennis Schrader in a statement on Jan. 27. “I encourage patients who have been diagnosed recently with COVID-19 to talk to a physician and see if a monoclonal antibody treatment is appropriate for them.”
In Maryland, the lab-produced antibodies are available for seniors age 65 and as well as those with certain medical conditions.