Bill Gates is wrong about coronavirus having the same economic impact as one of the world wars

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Bill Gates can see light at the end of the tunnel. In an interview this weekend in Wired, he reckons that thanks to the wave of innovation in treating Covid-19, and the resources going into developing a vaccine, “for the rich world, we should largely be able to end this thing by the end of 2021, and for the world at large by the end of 2022”.

However, even if that is right, he thinks that the blow to the global economy is such that it will take several years to get back to the position at the beginning of this year. In particular he is worried about progress in combating other diseases such as malaria and polio, and he is worried about global indebtedness: “It’s not World War I or World War II, but it is in that order of magnitude as a negative shock to the system.”

But at least he is confident about a vaccine working: “It’s because of innovation that you don’t have to contemplate an even sadder statement, which is this thing will be raging for five years until natural immunity is our only hope.”

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