Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has urged the US government to not leave developing nations behind in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have only taken care of ourselves” in producing and procuring a vaccine, Mr Gates said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Tuesday.
The billionaire philanthropist said he has encouraged congressional politicians to consider adding US$8 billion (Dh29.36bn) to the economic relief bill that will be dedicated to helping poor nations procure a vaccine.
“We’re trying to make sure we can end it not just in the rich countries,” he said.
In March 2015, Mr Gates gave a TEDTalk titled: "The next outbreak? We've not ready."
In it, he said that if anything were likely to kill millions of people in the next few decades, it would be a highly infectious virus, rather than a war.
Global cases passed 18.7 million on Wednesday, with 704,438 deaths and almost 11.9 million recoveries, Worldometers data showed.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged more than $250 million towards Covid-19 research.
Mr Gates said he has funded vaccine development efforts by pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.
The 64 year old expects a vaccine will be developed and approved by the beginning of next year but said “the initial vaccine, in terms of its effectiveness against sickness and transmission, won’t be ideal and may not have a long duration”.
“Innovation in diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines will get us largely out of this by the end of 2021 … the true end comes when between natural infection and a vaccine we have this herd immunity,” he said.