Microsoft founder and philanthropic billionaire Bill Gates is spending billions of dollars on seven possible vaccines for the coronavirus to end the outbreak.
According to Yahoo News, Gates told The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah he was funding several efforts through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and in partnership with other companies. Gates added that he took this action to “save months, because every month counts.”
“Our early money can accelerate things,” Gates said on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. “Of all the vaccine constructs, the seven most promising of those, even though we’ll end up picking at most two of them, we’re going to fund factories for all seven, and just so that we don’t waste time in serially saying, ‘Okay, which vaccine works?’ And then building the factory.”
On April 1, Gates said a national effort of total isolation for six to 10 weeks is the only viable option to minimize lives lost and economic damage for the United States to recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The effort might cost him billions of dollars and end without a viable vaccine, but if one works, production for it can start right away.
When asked about potentially spending billions of dollars with no payoff, Gates was quick to say the cost may seem high, but inaction will cost more.
“The situation we’re in, where there’s trillions of dollars — that’s a thousand times more — trillions of dollars being lost economically, it is worth it,” Gates said.
The coronavirus outbreak has hit the U.S. hard infecting more than 300,000 and has shut down the travel industry and put small businesses on the brink of closing down.