BILL GATES – whose 2015 prediction that a global pandemic would soon occur fell on deaf ears – has issued another harrowing warning about the next two disasters that the world must brace itself for.
In a recent interview with YouTube channel Veritasium, the billionaire philanthropist said he believes the most pressing threats to humanity are climate change and bioterrorism.
Commenting on his prescient 2015 prediction, Mr Gates said: "There’s no good feeling that comes with something like this, saying ‘I told you so'."
He added: "Could I have been more persuasive? There are a number of respiratory viruses and from time to time one will come along.
"Respiratory diseases are very scary because you’re still walking around on a plane, a bus when you’re infectious. Unlike some other diseases like Ebola where you are mostly in a hospital bed by the time viral load infects
The Microsoft co-founder then spoke of the most urgent dangers that the world faces today.
"One is climate change. Every year that would be a death toll even greater than we have had in this pandemic”, he said.
The other is: "Bio-terrorism. Somebody who wants to cause damage could engineer a virus and that means the cost, the chance of running into this is more than the naturally-caused epidemics like the current one."
Acknowledging the impossibility of preventing pandemics entirely, Mr Gates also emphasised the importance of mitigating their effects by being better prepared than the world was for Covid-19, "so we never have a death toll anywhere near what we have today".
Injecting some optimism into the discussion, he suggested that there could be some return to normality this summer following the rollout of Covid vaccines around the world.
He wrote in a blog post: "Although there will still need to be some restrictions (on big public gatherings, for example), the number of cases and deaths will start to go down a lot - at least in wealthy countries - and life will be much closer to normal than it is now."
You can watch the Veritasium interview with Bill Gates here.