Philanthropist and billionaire Bill Gates who just left Microsoft over a week ago to work on other things, is using his time to contradict Pres. Trump on whether or not the country should remain locked down to stop the spread of COVID-19 or lift restrictions.

Gates believes that America needs six to 10 weeks of “extreme shutdown” of regular life to get a handle on things.

I have some questions for the rich software guy. Can restaurants and businesses open with minimum employees. Can customers be limited with social distancing emphasized? Can events be held with minimum attendance allowed? Just until things pass? Sports might have to wait, but let’s try something that could work.

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“It’s very irresponsible for somebody to suggest we can have the best of both worlds,” the Microsoft co-founder said in an interview with TED on Tuesday. “What we need is an extreme shutdown so that in six to 10 weeks, if things go well, then you can start opening back up.”

Gates noted that while isolation in populated areas — along with widespread testing — is difficult and “disastrous” for the economy, “the sooner you do it in a tough way, the sooner you can undo it.”

At the same time, Gates acknowledged that the uncertainty is going to take a massive toll on the global economy, particularly on developing countries.

“We can’t say for sure that even the rich countries will be out of this in six to 10 weeks… the developing countries will bear a significant price,” Gates explained. “Two to three years from now, this thing, even on a global basis, will essentially be over with a gigantic price tag.” [Yahoo Finance]

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Warning: Don’t take advice from college drop-outs, just because they made a fortune doing something entirely unrelated to epidemiology or the scientific method. Egos, once inflated by such success, often know no bounds, but as consumers of the news, listeners to such people should invoke something north of just healthy skepticism.

Gates has enough money to spend 2,000,000 a day for 100 years. He doesn’t live in the same galaxy as normal people and doesn’t understand that a bad economy can mean trouble putting food on the table.

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I’ve become much warier of Gates in recent years. The mission statement of his non-profit sounds divine (All Lives Are Created Equal) but his murky network of interconnected for-profit and non-profit initiatives, the way he pushes for mandatory vaccinations (while ignoring legitimate scientific inquiry about specific safety concerns), and uses his wealth to become a defacto elected official are all concerning trends. There’s a reason that checks and balances exist, and he’s merely wielding too much power over essential aspects of much of the populations’ lives.

Funny how the rich always tell the poor they must sacrifice while their level of luxury and protection remains secure. Billionaires and rich celebrities are telling us they are sacrificing too – in their 10,000 square foot home with enough food supplies for 100 people for six months.

Wearing kind of thin.


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