Düsseldorf Why are the numbers of infections increasing in the USA while they are still at a comparatively low level in Europe? Hardly anyone can answer this question better than Bill Gates, founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the longtime MicrosoftAmerica’s bosses are too lax with the coronavirus, bars have not been closed in many regions, too few Americans wear face-to-face masks.
There is also another important reason: inadequate testing procedures. It is true that more than 700,000 people are tested each day in the United States. Due to overburdened laboratories, however, results would be determined with too long a time delay.
This means that government agencies cannot react quickly enough to local outbreaks and contain them. There are quick test results, but especially for the “very wealthy”. The US government is being ripped off. “You pay billions of dollars for unjust tests to get the most worthless results in the world,” Gates said in a television interview on Sunday evening.
According to Gates, he submitted his criticism to the responsible US agency “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” (CDC). But his suggestions for improvement fell on deaf ears. For example, the foundation director said, the CDC shouldn’t pay for test results that are older than three days. Without such a sanction, commercial providers like Labcorp and Quest Diagnostics no incentive to hurry.
Health professionals recommend evaluating tests within 24 to 48 hours. Otherwise, there is a high risk that people with corona will not take the symptoms seriously and avoid contact with others. According to a survey by Harvard University, Northeastern University, Northwestern University and Rutgers University, Americans had to wait an average of four days for the result in July.
The US government, however, has no interest in improving it, said Gates. The procedure is “politicized”, one just wants to say “how great the test procedures” are. Gates described the situation as “breathtaking”.
Gates indirectly criticizes US President Donald Trump. In a television interview last week, he described the test procedures in the USA very differently and described them as “the best of all time, the best in the world”. Half of the American tests are “short-term”, according to Trump.
Skeptical about Tiktok deal
The coronavirus situation remains worrying in the United States. Last Saturday, the number of infections exceeded five million. So far, around 163,000 Americans have died from the infectious disease Covid-19. The authorities reported an average of 1,000 deaths and around 60,000 new infections per day.
In no other country in the world are there so many known infections and deaths in absolute terms as in the USA with its 330 million inhabitants. “No other country has this test madness,” Gates explains the difference.
Microsoft is currently negotiating with the Chinese company Bytedance to sell the US business of the teenage app Tiktok. Trump had previously exerted massive pressure, and from mid-September the app will be blocked in the USA due to security and data protection concerns.
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In addition to Microsoft, the short message service should also Twitter be interested in the multi-billion dollar takeover of Tiktok in the US. However, Gates is not a fan of what he said to the high-tech magazine “Wired”. The business with social media is “not an easy thing”.
As an example, he cited the necessary encryption of data. Despite its popularity, Tiktok could be a “poisoned cup”. Trump’s approach of first asking for the sale of a company and then demanding a share of the sales price for the US government, he described as “rather strange”.
But the decision lies with Microsoft, so Gates. As a founder and former boss, however, he has some influence at the software company, is an official advisor to Microsoft and as a private person still holds a little more than one percent of the company.
The group is one of the most valuable companies in the world, has a market capitalization of around 1.6 trillion dollars. The 64-year-old Gates transferred most of his shares to the non-profit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation years ago.
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