David Muir Exclusive with Bill and Melinda Gates on Coronavirus

Bill and Melinda Gates on what Americans could face next in this crisis, as they reveal another $150 million donation in the global COVID-19 fight, bringing their total contribution to $250 million.
24:12 | 04/16/20

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Transcript for David Muir Exclusive with Bill and Melinda Gates on Coronavirus
Bill and Melinda great to see you again I really appreciate you doing this thanks for having us. So bill you know here we are. Many people are aware that that you warned of this in the new England journal of medicine and and during it Ted talk. Just a couple of years back. I'm curious why you were able to sound the alarm on this it and and why we were still. So inadequate in our response in this country. Well the gold at the time was to get preparedness. That it creek tools so we have quick diagnostics and quirk rugs. And that we have done simulations to rely so Cain who's going to take charge you know how we prioritize the testing. Most of that didn't happen but here we are out dealing with it and nob. Not as prepared as we'd like to be but still lot of good leadership. That's a lot of stated. Moderate. What couldn't be even worse. Belinda you have said you know as a country. You know we prepare for war we prepare for natural disasters. Somehow we didn't adequately prepare for this. Not surprising I will say one of the leaders who didn't think about those early on to get quite seriously was chancellor Merkel and she had the G-7 edged up the leadership of it. They actually did since simulations and some planning. And we're seeing a jury as might be exempt or countries in terms of doing some of the right things that there is less debt than those countries I wish we had done. Or app. There's going to be a lot of time to look back and and what we could've done better to prepare for this and hopefully. We're all learning lessons and in real time but let's let's talk about where we are as a country right now bill what what should we be doing. Right now in the middle of the storm. We're still in mean very acute phase where strong adherence to this social distant scene is absolutely key. So that we get to the peak of nos numbers really start to come down. With a month within a month or so community that peak. If we put in place the right art heist casting re you the right people are tasks and they get quick bristles. We have contact precinct. Then we will not be able to start opening not opt out but it won't be a chortling normal situation until we get a vaccine. So that every bit. But he's protected. We've heard a lot from the president about the thirty days of social distancing that bet take system may first which is now just a couple of weeks from now. Do you see. A possibility of the country reopening in just a couple of weeks bill. All the numbers should draw artists here and now a group weep uncalled. International help and Max and I we've been showing. Odd that the numbers are starting to come down. And so you know maybe in late Maine. Noory will top one per 100000 act. Cases. Because you don't want to shut down again and you know the governors have been good leaders sowed doubt dialogue. Between the experts and the leaders. I think that's happening now on our foundation is is part about dialogue. So what do we need to do right now in order to reopen the country to get back to you know some sort of normalcy and sort of set a new normal whatever that anomalous. Well I I will say it's three cases the QBs were in now. The semi normal days until we get a vaccine and then the truly normal pace after. Vaccine is protect at all about odd that vaccine is probably. Late when he when he want so the semi normal period. Starting whenever does a mom two months from now will be quite. Long and the I did in Alice that. And the testing the U immediately seeing it you have that exponential rise in any part of the country. And you could go in there and make sure that you isolate and don't get op. Two a lot of people infected which would cause a lot of doubt so. Fixing that testing Rashean. You know there's a lot of dialogue about not but we need to have that in place for we moved to that next. So if you have confidence I mean a lot of Americans are are gonna say we'll wait a minute we just watched. What happened when we really needed the testing in the beginning and as the testing to simply wasn't there. Are we gonna have tens of millions of tests ready. In just a few weeks time to test folks before we try to reenter society. Of the testing will move as we up the capacity so that it people who have their symptoms. Or have been around some test positive. Don't get it sent to their home. And so they won't have to go Ian. And we got the FDA to approve thing called self swab where you don't need a medical person. Ought to do that meant it Scott. All the high accuracy so buttoned up approach. Right now it's a dialogue with the manner possible seed. If the federal government wants to get ball out will really help with the opening up a means. And it's not just that when the government tells us we can go and do things you know people are worried and so they're not gonna immediately. Changed their behavior and yet it greed really got the right. Things in place. Getting back the economic activity is actually a good thing. And even this whole foods lobbying. The kits need to calm and then you get 24 hour turnaround so you know what you actually have it or not very very rapidly. And then yes it will mean people do the right thing and self isolating themselves. We know the American people can do this I think it's been really impressive to see how much people. Our policies specifically complete words here in Seattle but how quickly as soon as the governor sat and health departments that we should all start to work from home. You know we can see the bridge from our hosts there are very few people going across that bridge and a car and so. I think people will need to realize that they need to do the right thing but I trust that Americans will but they need to testing. Yeah Melinda I think you're actually right I think Americans deserve a lot of credit in this because they did. Listen to the warnings and they have stayed home and I think they're just looking for reassurance now I'm struck billed by. When you were talking about the faces the semi normal phase that you spoke of that's sounded like months and months of that if if a vaccine is still not until 20/20 one. That's that's many many months. This new normal. That's right it's out. Oh certainly don't. Eaton and rest prompts they'll be some degree spacing they Asian countries that op solve a disease burst are still. Require. All of these things. And so we need to learn from them they'd been able to do without seen a big rebound. You know so that definitely is good news. Contact recently captivated do that in a way that preserved privacy. You know because it values we have an experienced team to bullet we put the right system in place behind it. You've talked a lot about testing here let me ask you about testing for advice fees a lot of people want to know if there's a chance. You know they've been exposed to this perhaps to even realize they had -- nineteen rule or were as you just said Melinda asymptomatic. And might have some immunity from this are you hopeful that. That if there are antibodies present bet that you will have immunity like we've seen from other viruses in the past. Well remember all. Being. Small percentage of the population has been infected that's the benefit. It isolation we Don. I don't Max out at well under 2%. V so called road heat while hobble lot of false positives and we don't know the antibody level. It corresponds to real protection so you know if people are surprised him antibodies they may have to YouTube to protect them so I don't see a huge rule. About Rawlins. Caskets they are highly sensitive viral asked. That right now ice and the Swaby and pregnancy test where you actually get drizzle at home. Op work that's being developed what I'm hearing from you is you don't want a false sense of security from. Antibody tests in the future that's right it's part of this anyone's understand the disease but the idea that somebody and could put themselves at risk. That test isn't going to be strong and opt opted. To tell people up. You know bill we've done so much here on on hopes surrounding. Taking the blood plasma from patients who had Kobe's nineteen and who have now recovered and there's. Certainly hope that by giving that blood to maybe some of the most severe patients that it might help. Do you think that there is science there that that says this could work. We don't know yet but we have trials that are starting up in this six big. Private companies that do that Boyd extracts and agreed to work together. Come up with a common protocol so literally within six weeks I think we'll have a sense about. All the drug approaches that probably has the highest chance at working well. There are dozens of others like that had practical or Clinton but this is one. Pot is the most likely out to work it won't make a huge difference is that therapeutic. And where do you stand on or Quinn and hydroxy clerk when. Well the trial will actually give us numbers. Will report out by the end at me so don't be in with the University of Washington. How's that going on in till then. You know we we can't say it's clearly not in a light that 80% cure because in the cases work's been used. You don't see doubt onto but it parental but even that's you know modest benefit we will find that up through the. A lot of people have been wondering why some people seem to be getting. I hit much harder would this than others and and Melinda I know we have to as a country. Not only look at this right now but but certainly try to figure out solutions as we move forward and potentially face something like this down the road we've seen African Americans. In this country and the terrible whole week we've seen here in the New York City area that the tall on the Latino community. And I know you're very concerned about that and and you have pushed for that dated to be studied. Yes we need to have far more data and it needs to be what we call dis aggregated that is we need to understand. The data by sex by race by Soes to enact economic background. Because only one we have dated do we know actually how to act as a nation. And so we urge to apply resource is where we're seeing more disease and we need to have make sure that we go there with supplies. We're seeing absolutely higher rates things like diabetes or hypertension some of the populations that you mention and so they're being very hard hit. And so we he didn't make sure we're protecting the very most vulnerable in society. I think one of things code in nineteen has an Earth's forests are dead bats disparities in our health system. I know it's not just our health system but it's the global health system. And that's for the two if you come in now and have been there really for many many years you've been so generous you've already given a hundred million. In the fight against cope in nineteen and I know that your announcing right here we've made it you're gonna give another 150 million. On the and not only to help like this here in the US but around the world and in particular in developing countries and and were already just beginning to report here. And what we're seeing there and the consequences are going to be devastating. This new 115 million dollars that we are announcing. Israel agreed to help low and middle income countries because we're watching the spread of this disease around the world. Wordy again. Working with our partners on modeling the disease but we need to do basically three things we need to shore up their house system so they have the protective gear. For there health care workers so they happen diagnostic test. We need to make we have one of the things we can do immediately is taking some of our us senators that we've already got going for polio malaria. We can immediately convert those to co bid nineteen response senators. And we're gonna have flexible funding for local partners because we know some are the solutions to these problems are gonna come from local partner speak just. It's not easy to social distance if you live in a home that's one bedroom with five people in it or you don't have access to clean water so we took. Look for local solutions and we're seeing some of them already in India. And see what ingenious ideas people have that can actually help with physical distancing. I want to ask you bill. You know we've reported here in the last 24 hours the president revealing that he wants to halt all US aid to the World Health Organization. Do you agree with at move. Well I'm home lid he doesn't follow wrong because. We need their support this is a global problem. They are the institution that. And brings nations together and make sure that. In a date we're sharing of best practices. Between know those countries they'll be plenty of time to look back and see which countries. Did things well which did and where should W towed have done things differently. We're berries important and the role WHO plays. They're the ones who are helped eradicate smallpox. They. See what's going on globally. And I hope hope that doesn't actually. Koppen. Have you tried to reach out to the president on this. How will we we didn't read our support for the WHO. And you know so it's very visible that we see them as C constructed actor and in and we don't think they should Coptic. Start letting people go in the middle. They at first modern pandemic. We're saying we've been working with the WHO for over twenty years as a foundation can. We don't institution is perfect. But it's the global response that's gonna get us through this and WHO was created after world works you to deal with the exact. These kinds of issues around the world so halting funding right now I just doesn't make any sense. I didn't want to ask you about something you said earlier bill the phases that we have to go through still 20/20 one you said for a vaccine. It is doctor felt she is Mir at the same thing by saying a year to eighteen months a year is the most hopeful he has been so far. A lot of people listening to this are to think well you know I'm worried about my parents who are vulnerable our grandparents. Those who have underlying conditions. Does that mean in this semi normal phase is used sort of defined it a little earlier. That we're really gonna have to keep our distance for many many months to come to protect the most callable. I think we have to assume that. You know wolf all of the numbers that they get small enough. Then you can be more liberal in your behavior. Doctor counties doing a great job I'd talk them regularly including today about. Making sure the US resources are found east resource are coming together to accelerate. That vaccine every. We can get better earlier it it means trillions of dollars so. You know this is a eighteen. And I think we do have to say that as Americans we have to protect our most terrible and today the most vulnerable are the agent and that's right. And we need to look at how do we make sure that we're careful work to be careful with our we are being careful with our own parents. And we will continue to got as the eagle port until there's a vaccine that will. There's so many questions I know we're still in the middle of this storm but people have seen the number so far it appears to be deadlier. Among men then women. On the flip side when it comes to women they disproportionately make up. Our health care the front line in this fight and certainly care at home and Melinda I know you've been at the forefront of getting the message out about. You don't be you can incredible role women are playing in fights like this one that we're we're in right now. Yes 78%. Our front line health care workers are women. Women do two and a half times more unpaid work than men so they're caring for the young at home they're often caring for the elderly. So we need to be more flexible and are paid failing medical leave policies that we've ever been before as a nation me to have one. And as well we have to look at the other effects on women around the world during a bullet crisis we know in the affected African countries maternal mortality wanna. Teen pregnancy went up. We're seeking to domestic violence go up in country after country after country so we need to do things to and dress that now. Because we also know that women are the ones who feed children and taking care of them in so we have to address the specific issues. Are happening for women. And bill I know here in the New York City area the governor has been very cautious but he has marked these last couple of days a sort of flattening of the curve. At a staggering tall but still a flattening of the curve we're still waiting for the peak and several other cities and regions in the country what do you make of you know we expected unfortunately the most vulnerable the B older Americans within our community to pick me perhaps hit hardest but we've seen. And we see young people we've seen very healthy people in their 20s30s and forties. Face really typical cases. Of this virus what can you tell us about. That initial exposure to the virus which could determine whether or not you get. Really hard hit by this. Well health care workers seem to get. Larger exposures. And doubts. That means a minute the younger people. The death rate there is and higher. You know no one symbol of all to this disease. Either of their own help or spreading it out to other people. The eight good news is that got. I had to mean date is seen at the right things have been done so you know death rates issue moving to Maine it will be down. And and the active cases will get to reasonably small number so. You know really an amazing effort to do social isolation. Odd that puts us in a position. To a get into that next phase. But as we open the valve on this economy don't we have to be you know extraordinarily careful not to. Become so lax. On on how careful we all been otherwise we're gonna see a spike in cases all over again. That's right to will start out in theory conservative way. I in it we will. You Wear masks we won't be close by each other even an arrest Ron let workers come back as they feel comfortable. About doing so. You know in China now a lot of workers are coming back but not all of them yet. So they you know they've done that proudly. In this so this opening not. Well. You know wolf will come back gradually. In a once we have the vaccine that can come back bully but until and I expect. There are things like vacationing in our how much people go out that will be. Are quite. Odd odd depressed and appropriately because we don't wanna get back. Into the skid to a crucial we're in today where the duck numbers are over 2000 per day. We're gonna have to be incredibly flexible right so people who have underlying health conditions or have a family member they live whip. But I'm underlying health conditions or grandmother who takes care of the two young kids all the single mom in Atlanta goes off to her job odd. We have to protect that grandmother so. Workforce is all kinds of jobs are gonna have to be really flexible about who comes in. And who doesn't. And our how is is our most important thing and so we have to protect our health while we slowly go back to economic. Opportunities that we all have it would gonna have to take your families who. You know their business is gone under they've lost their job or they're still struggling to put a meal on the table after the economy starts to slowly open up. I am hearing her message loud and clear and bill you said a vaccine. Next year does that mean the economy. You know you say could fully come back after vaccine but that's a long way off people have to. Really be ready here for a very slow and gradual return while has Melinda says. Reminding themselves that we're all sort of in this fight together we can't we can't let our guard down no matter how exhausting this is bad. I do think they'd. Will figure out how to get school backing in manufacturing construction and but you know its service jobs creek and do the distant seem well. And you know so starting that discussion about how do you marked by practices. So there's eight now's the time be talking about that because you know we are. Known. You know. A bit more than a month when missiles are to become. Op actionable. And it won't be a 100% of the economy in good at it will all be anything light. What we're in right now. Where we're we're so so shut down. Well bill we should have been listening to you back in 2015 I know a lot of people. Wish we had heeded the warning a little more closely and that more prepared for this but I wanted to give you the final word open view. Give us some help. In empowering Americans in what feels like it very powerless moment but what can we all do what your message for us. Well there are some great science tests and in every day. We're talking those scientists what you need what are your insights. And so we can get more tasks. I went to get drugs. Wool reduce the overload in and save lives there's a lot of promising things they're it will. Even before the vaccine like using lot of recovered patients. And then the people with the vaccine. I'd say you know it's the American people that it's. It's been amazing. And remarkable to see the flexibility and the swiftness with which people did the right things based on what the Health Department we're saying. And I think the heroes honestly although an heroines are the front line health workers are hats are off to them. I wish people could see the science that we're seeing every single day and epidemiology. And a phone calls from. CEOs of big pharma companies people are coming together to create a global response even companies that used to be head to head competitors. They are all calling and talking and trying to do the right thing. That's the best of this nation and I know it's in us and we are going to get through dense. And lastly I would just say is one of the thing practices we have a Stanley around the dinner table at night with our heads. It's all go around in say one thing we're grateful for. And I think we can all in this country even where we're struggling name one thing every night that work or. There's no question about that and I and I know many this country are grateful to the to view it all the work that you've done around the world in and right now in this fight. Thank you for all that you're doing. Thank you David.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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