Bill Gates' 2015 warning against a global epidemic

Billionaire business man Bill Gates presented a TED talk in 2015 predicting the next global catastrophic event would be a pandemic.

JOHANNESBURG - The world could have been better prepared for the possibility of a global pandemic, and there is a plan on video by one of the richest men in the world to prove it.

Bill Gates gave a TED talk in 2015 where he warned against complacency when tackling future pandemics and epidemics.

At the time, he advised the world to build good response systems and used the Ebola crisis as a case study of how an epidemic can affect the global state of health and prosperity.

READ: Bill Gates to invest $5-billion in Africa 

Gates said the Ebola crisis was devastating, particularly in the countries where the disease was concentrated naming the death toll as severe but not as bad if the disease were airborne.

Ebola killed 11,310 people in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. While there were an additional 36 cases and 15 deaths that occurred when the outbreak spread outside of these three countries.

As of 25 March 2020, COVID-19 has killed 19,607 people and infected 434,978 people in almost every country in the world.

READ: COVID-19 deaths surge past 13,000 as one billion confined to homes

Gates outlined a plan for preparedness for a global pandemic saying, health systems in poorer countries should be strengthened; a "medical reserve core" be created and equipped with the correct expertise to quickly respond to news of an outbreak.

He suggested that health services collaborate with the military to take advantage of their logistical and transportation skills.

Gates said the United States should practice acting against widespread pandemics by doing "germ games" simulating their response to the scenario.

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Advanced research and development into epidemiology and vaccines was another suggestion proffered by the billionaire's presentation.

Gates predicted a global flu epidemic would mean global wealth would go down by $3-trillion.

Foreign Direct Investment is expected to shrink between 5% and 15%, depending on the severity of the spread of COVID-19, the UN’s Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) said in a special edition of its investment trends monitor.

While hindsight is 20/20, the presentation has some lessons for the world.

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eNCA