During a discussion Bill Gates shared his views on human innovation and the dangers that come with it. He praised humanity’s ability to drive forward progress in areas such as health, energy, and education but warned of the potential exploitation by those who wish to do harm.
Gates pointed out that risk often comes from nature itself, namely zoonosis which can jump from animals to humans. “So there’s a class that’s got measles in it, a class of flu, a class of coronavirus, and a fourth class, all of which we need to have standby tools, both antivirals and vaccines that can deal with those. It’s very doable. So on the tool’s front, we can be far more prepared,” Gates said.
For this purpose, he advocated for surveillance systems to track individuals in order to quickly spread information if something out of the ordinary is happening.
The Gates Foundation has done its part in helping address global challenges with an immense donation of $1.27 billion during the United Nations General Assembly week last month. This funding will help advance progress towards global goals and $200 million will go towards developing a digital identification system for mass use worldwide.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair also addressed issues at the World Economic Forum summit at Davos where he called for “national digital infrastructure” to help distribute new vaccines as well as keep track of those who have been vaccinated or not for future pandemics.
While sharing his thoughts on the current state of US politics, Gates expressed concern that a weakened Biden regime could negatively affect world governance as other countries become richer and take on a bigger role in how decisions get made on an international level. He argued that it would be up to the US government to ensure that this transition is smooth and fair so that everyone benefits from it in the long run.
“The US is politically weaker today, I would say than it’s been, and that’s scary for the world. The current world system is designed around US leadership. And as other countries have gotten richer, these middle-income countries, including China and India, need to play a stronger role in world governance. And how the US seeds the kind of unique role we’ve had and makes that all work, particularly given our political polarization. There’s a lot to worry about there.”