Story at a glance

  • Gates attributed the rise in numbers to a lack of testing, contact tracing and a lack of mask wearing.
  • He said the U.S. is not tough when it comes to contact tracing or enforcing quarantine.
  • The U.S. Thursday broke its record for most new coronavirus cases reported in a day, with 40,401 new cases, beating the previous record-setting number set on Wednesday, as several states in the southern and western U.S. experience a surge in cases and hospitalizations.

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is dismissing the Trump administration’s claim that an increase in coronavirus case numbers is a direct result of a ramping up in testing, calling it “completely false.”

While speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta during a coronavirus town hall Thursday, Gates said the U.S. was not even close to doing enough to curb the spread of the virus that has infected more than 2.4 million people and left more than 124,000 dead. 


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Gates attributed the rise in numbers to a lack of testing and contact tracing, as well as people not complying with the recommendations and rules when it comes to wearing masks. He said the “range of behaviors” in response to the outbreak, with some people being conservative in what they do and some ignoring the epidemic, was “huge.”


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“Some people almost feel like it’s a political thing which is unfortunate,” he said. 

“The United States has had a tough time,” Gates said. “We’re not as tough on contact tracing or enforcing quarantine, and the compliance with mask wearing in the U.S. is far less than particularly in the countries in Asia.”

“It’s possible to ramp up testing for a new pathogen very, very fast,” he said. “In fact a number of countries did that extremely well in this case and the technology keeps getting better there. The U.S. in particular hasn’t had the leadership messages or coordination that you would have expected.” 

The U.S. Thursday broke its record for most new coronavirus cases reported in a day, with 40,401 new cases, beating the previous record-setting number set on Wednesday, as several states in the southern and western U.S. experience a surge in cases and hospitalizations. 

As some states post record numbers of COVID-19 cases, President Trump on several occasions has attributed the rise to the ramping up of testing. 

“The number of ChinaVirus cases goes up, because of GREAT TESTING, while the number of deaths (mortality rate), goes way down. The Fake News doesn’t like telling you that!” Trump tweeted Thursday. 

More than 2.4 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S. since the outbreak began. More than 124,000 people have died from coronavirus-related illness, according to Johns Hopkins University data.


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Published on Jun 26, 2020