Bill Gates Is Scrambling To Distance Himself From COVID Suddenly

( Bill Gates walked onto the stage at the TED conference carrying a weathered wooden bucket he’d handcrafted. The water bucket was a reproduction of ancient Rome, with a broad opening and short handles. In the year 6 AD, a disastrous fire inspired Emperor Augustus to form the Cohortes Vigilum—the night guard. As Rome’s designated firefighting team, watchmen depended on this equipment, the bucket.

Gates utilized the prop to demonstrate one of the themes in his new book, How to Prevent the Next Pandemic, while standing in front of an audience in Vancouver in his everyday crewneck sweater and formal pants. He envisioned a new version of the Cohortes Vigilum that sounds almost like a TV show pitch: a permanent squad of 3,000 people named GERM—Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization—that would be stationed all around the world. The group would keep an eye on possible outbreaks, cultivate tight ties with public health authorities throughout the world, and supervise drills to prepare for the inevitable—and maybe far worse—Covid sequels.

The dismal alarm of his 2015 TED presentation, a jeremiad about our lack of readiness for an impending epidemic, was nothing like the relentless positivity he brought to this concept and most of his address. On the TED website, the talk has received 43 million views; regrettably, he claims, 90 percent of them came after Covid made his tragically correct forecast.

Gates shrugged off the fact that conference attendees had to walk through anti-vaxxers demanding his arrest and worse. He was less amused by how Covid has (understandably) diverted attention and money away from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s other priority diseases. (Even though the foundation’s eponyms have divorced, they are still operating together for the time being.)

Despite his criticisms, he was consistently cheerful, not only about pandemics but also about the world’s status in general, which is odd because the Bucket Gates brought on stage; the Cohortes Vigilum failed to put out the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD.

And no vaccination will put out the fire that is Covid, either.

Gates is over this pandemic and looking forward to the next one.

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