What happened now? Former Microsoft boss Bill Gates has strong views on the pandemic and how it has been handled. He believes that the world is lucky with Covid-19 and that the virus can help us prepare for future pandemics, although it will cost about $1 billion a year.

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Gates made his comments at this week’s TIME 100 summit (via insider). The billionaire recommended the creation of a Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization (GERM) team of 3,000 infectious disease experts, led by the World Health Organization, to help countries deal with outbreaks.

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Praising the benefits of the GERM team, Gates said, “You can’t do anything if you don’t act fast. Pandemics are a global problem, and if one country does not do its part in detection and containment, then it is a problem for all other countries.” He added that the team would have to take responsibility for “a dozen or so countries” with disabilities.

The size of the team and the resources required mean it will cost about $1 billion a year to maintain, but Gates says the pandemic has cost the economy more than $14 trillion, so the benefits far outweigh the costs. He notes that the world is lucky that the death rate from Covid was only 0.2%, warning that a future pandemic could be much more deadly.

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Gates also spoke about how the US handled the pandemic, where more than a million people have died of the virus, more than any other country to date; only Brazil has a higher death rate than the US, at 303 per 100,000. He said that if the US expanded its diagnostic and quarantine enforcement capabilities, the country’s death rate could be as low as countries like Taiwan (3,373) or Australia (8,919).

Gates criticized the US government back in 2020 about its coronavirus strategy, saying it didn’t act fast enough to prevent the shutdown. He also blown up Elon Musk for the Tesla CEO’s controversial views on Covid, vaccines and lockdowns.

Gates discusses the GERM team and other ideas in his forthcoming book How to Prevent the Next Pandemic.