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A 2015 Ted talk by tech billionaire Bill Gates appears to predict the coronavirus crisis currently engulfing the world.

The talk, titled The next outbreak? We’re not ready, examines how the world needs to start preparing for potential killer viruses.

Gates looks at past health crises like Ebola and the Spanish Flu. He considers how history could offer insight into how to treat these kinds of infectious diseases. He says thought and resources should be put into scenario planning, vaccine research, and health worker training.

‘Not missiles, but microbes’

“If anything kills more than 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s more likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes,” Gates said during the talk.

“Now part of the reason for this is that we’ve invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents. We’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic.

“The failure to prepare could allow the next epidemic to be dramatically more devastating than Ebola…The best lessons on how to get prepared are again, what we do for war. ..If we start now, we can be ready for the next epidemic.” 

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.