In an interview with Fox News broadcast on Sunday, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said that Americans need to acknowledge the fact that the U.S. is not handling the coronavirus pandemic as good as other countries, The Hill reported.
Speaking with anchor Chris Wallace, Gates said that the U.S. “did a very poor job” compared to other developed nations.
“I do think we need to own up to the fact that we didn’t do a good job,” he said, describing the testing system in America as “outrageous.”
“Part of the reluctance, I think, to fix the testing system now is nobody wants to admit that it’s still outrageous,” Gates stated, noting that only the wealthiest Americans have access to COVID-19 tests and get the results within 24 hours.
“That should not be the case. The U.S. has more of these machines, more of this capacity than other countries by a huge amount.”
The government needs to “get the testing right” as soon as possible, Gates continued.
“We will have time to look at those mistakes which in February and March were super unfortunate. But we can’t pretend like we get a good grade even today,” the billionaire philanthropist concluded.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, more than 6.7 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S. More than 200,000 have died from complications caused by the virus.
In January, Trump issued an executive order blocking entry of foreign travelers who had been to China in the past two weeks. In March, he banned travel from Europe.
Gates told Wallace there was an “explosion” in COVID-19 cases because the government failed to put safety measures in place as Americans were rushing back from abroad.
By criticizing Trump’s actions with regards to travel restrictions, Gates broke with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In March, Fauci told Congress that Trump’s orders saved lives, per ABC News.
Trump has repeatedly touted the restrictions as evidence that he reacted in time. In recent weeks, the president has shifted his focus to vaccine development.
During a press briefing on Friday, Trump said that more than 100 million vaccine doses will be manufactured by the end of the year. By April, 2021, there will be enough vaccines for every American citizen, he said.
The Food and Drug Administration has not yet authorized a coronavirus vaccine.