In a 2015 Ted talk, Bill Gates claimed: “If anything kills over 10 million people over the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes.” With deaths from Covid-19 surpassing 6 million, it turns out the grisly prediction from the Silicon Valley billionaire and philanthropist might be correct. His and other experts’ warnings were widely ignored – the US, for instance, slashed funding from the relevant response agencies. Gates feels that, despite the world experiencing a pandemic, lessons still won’t be learned, and in May he is publishing a manifesto, How to Prevent the Next Pandemic.
Next month, the Observer New Review will publish a “You Ask the Questions”-style interview with Bill Gates. Here is your chance to put a question to Gates about pandemics, or indeed, any of the other topics he is an expert on: from disease eradication and Silicon Valley to philanthropy and global heating. What’s it like to be named in a conspiracy theory? Can vaccines eradicate Covid-19 entirely? Why should I bin my Mac and buy a Windows computer?