Bill Gates has warned of the next two disasters facing the planet after previously predicting the outbreak of devastating virus. The Microsoft founder said during a Ted Talk in 2015 that an epidemic would involve a virus "where people feel well enough while they’re infectious that they get on a plane or they go to a market".
But Mr Gates, now 65, warned that the world wouldn't be prepared for the next epidemic during his talk, which came five years before the coronavirus pandemic which has now killed 2.3 million people globally. Now almost six years on, the tech pioneer has said he believes the greatest threats to humanity in the coming years are climate change and bioterrorism, the Daily Star reports.
Looking back on the 2015 Ted Talk, called "The Next Outbreak? We're Not Ready", Mr Gates recently told the Veritasium YouTube channel: "There’s no good feeling that comes with something like this, saying ‘I told you so'."
He added: "Could I have been more persuasive? There are a number of respiratory viruses and from time to time one will come along. Respiratory diseases are very scary because you’re still walking around on a plane, a bus when you’re infectious. Unlike some other diseases like Ebola where you are mostly in a hospital bed by the time viral load infects other people."
Mr Gates then offered his opinion on the major threats to the world today.
He said: "One is climate change. Every year that would be a death toll even greater than we have had in this pandemic."
He added: "Bio-terrorism. Somebody who wants to cause damage could engineer a virus and that means the cost, the chance of running into this is more than the naturally-caused epidemics like the current one."
The Microsoft co-founder said humans do not have the power to prevent future pandemics but it can be better prepared than it was for Covid-19 "so we never have a death toll anywhere near what we have today".
Recently, Mr Gates suggested life could begin to return to normal this spring as Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out around the world.
He wrote in a blog post: "Although there will still need to be some restrictions (on big public gatherings, for example), the number of cases and deaths will start to go down a lot - at least in wealthy countries - and life will be much closer to normal than it is now."