Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said on CNN Sunday that life will not “fully” return to normal until 2022.
Gates told CNN’s Jake Tapper that “bars and restaurants in most of the country will be closed as we go into this wave, and I think, sadly, that’s appropriate.”
“Depending on how severe it is, the decision about schools is much more complicated because the benefits are pretty high, the amount of transmission is not the same as in restaurants and bars,” Gates added. “So trade-offs will have to be made.” (RELATED: Bill Gates Says Presidential Transition Is ‘Complicating’ Vaccine Distribution)
“The next four to six months really call on us to do our best, because we can see that this will end, and you don’t want somebody that you love to be the last to die of coronavirus.”
.@BillGates on Covid: “Even through 2022” we should be prepared for life to not return to “normal”
Says “sadly” it’s “appropriate” for bars and restaurants to close over the next “four to six months” pic.twitter.com/cmDD8pv3XR
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 13, 2020
Tapper asked Gates when he thought life would be “fully” back to normal, with no masks, social distancing, or protective measures.
“Certainly by the summer, we’ll be way closer to normal than we are now,” Gates responded. “But even through early 2022, unless we help other countries get rid of this disease, and we get high vaccination rates in our country, the risk of re-introduction will be there, and of course the global economy will be slowed down which hurts America economically in a pretty dramatic way.”
He said things like big public gatherings will still be prohibited during the Summer. “But we can see now that somewhere between 12 and 18 months, and we have a chance, if we manage it well, to get back to normal,” Gates added.
A spike in new coronavirus cases has led many states to issue now lockdown orders, including closing bars and restaurants and implementing mask mandates. Many schools continue to operate virtually. Military trucks will begin delivering the first shipments of Pfizer’s recently approved coronavirus vaccine to states Monday, boosting hopes that life could return to normal sooner rather than later.