Bill Gates rebuked Donald Trump's proposal of reopening the global economy despite the outbreak of Covid-19 saying this would be "very irresponsible".
Gates didn't specifically mentioned a name but his statement came just after Trump announced that his administration is thinking to relax the rule of social distancing to slowly activate the shut-down economy.
Trump suggested that this middle ground would indeed be possible — by letting some healthy people return to work, for instance, while keeping more vulnerable workers in their homes. A decision to be made on this regard by the end of this month as he thinks "cure could be worse than the problem itself," reports Vox.
"There really is no middle ground, and it's very tough to say to people, 'Hey, keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner. We want you to keep spending because there's maybe a politician who thinks GDP growth is all that counts,'" Gates said in an interview with TED Tuesday.
But he also expressed genuine concern for the economy, "The economic effect of this is really dramatic. Nothing like this has ever happened to the economy in our lifetimes,"
But also added, "But bringing the economy back ... that's more of a reversible thing than bringing people back to life. So we're going to take the pain in the economic dimension — huge pain — in order to minimize the pain in the diseases-and-death dimension."
He added the social distancing measures might need to last as little as six weeks, but "the sooner you do it in a tough way, the sooner you can undo it and go back to normal."
Gates, USA's leading philanthropist, has been among the most active tech leaders in using his resources to try and contain the virus.The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has put up $100 million for programs to fund testing and science around the pandemic.
He just resigned from the board of Microsoft earlier this month so that he can focus more on his philanthropic work.