Bill Gates Says Donald Trump's Travel Ban Accelerated Coronavirus Pandemic

Tyler MacDonald

During a preview clip from his interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, billionaire Bill Gates claimed that Donald Trump's travel ban likely exacerbated the coronavirus pandemic that continues to ravage the United States, The Hill reported.

"We created this rush, and we didn't have the ability to test or quarantine those people," he said of U.S. travelers abroad who reentered the country after the announcement of the ban.

"And so that seeded the disease here. The ban probably accelerated that, the way it was executed," he continued.

On January 31, Trump barred anyone who had visited China in the last 14 days from entering the United States. In March, the president banned travel from Europe and other countries that were hit hard by COVID-19 outbreaks at the time. Although he often touts his travel bans as evidence of his early crackdown on the pandemic, Gates believes otherwise.

"March saw this incredible explosion — the West Coast coming from China and then the East Coast coming out of Europe, and so, even though we'd seen China and we'd seen Europe, that testing capacity and clear message of how to behave wasn't there."

As reported by The Daily Mail, Gates released a report earlier this week that documented the coronavirus's impact on worldwide goals such as ending hunger and poverty. Across the report, the philanthropist outlined the economic damage created by the coronavirus and the effects of these setbacks on the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which were created in 2015. The targets — which include expanding access to health care and education — have a deadline of 2030. According to Gates, COVID-19 has not just halted progress on these aims but pushed it backward.

"The importance of the goals if anything is reinforced by the pandemic," he said in a conference call with reporters.

"After all, the pandemic has in almost every dimension made inequity worse."