2015: Bill Gates warned that we’re not ready for the next epidemic …

In a 2015 TED talk, Gates hit the nail on the head, but his warning wasn’t heeded:

Today the greatest risk of global catastrophe is a highly infectious virus rather than a war.

Not missiles, but microbes.

We’ve invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents.

But we’ve invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic.

We’re not ready for the next epidemic.

More transcript excerpts below, or
click to view the TED talk


Here are some transcript snippets from the talk …


Lessons from the Ebola epidemic

About 10,000 people died (during the Ebola epidemic), and nearly all were in the three West African countries.

There are three reasons why it didn’t spread more.

So next time, we might not be so lucky.

Maybe there will be a virus where people feel well enough while they’re infectious that they get on a plane or they go to a market.

So there are things that would literally make things a thousand times worse.


Preparing for the next epidemic

We can build a really good response system.

What we need is preparedness:

If there’s one positive thing that can come out of past epidemics, it’s that they can serve as an early warning, a wake-up call, to get ready.

If we start now (in 2015), we can be ready for the next epidemic.

Thanks to LWH for feeding the lead.

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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