Bill Gates: Coronavirus numbers will likely plateau by month's end if we quarantine 'well enough'

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said Sunday that while the coronavirus pandemic was a “nightmare scenario,” continued social distancing measures would likely flatten the virus’s trajectory by the end of April.

"If we had kept on going to work, traveling like we were, that curve would never bend until you’d had the majority of people infected," Gates said on “Fox News Sunday.”

"We’ve had to use quarantine, which is an old thing back from the days of the plague, as our primary tool," he added. "Fortunately, if we use that well enough, we should by the end of this month start to see those numbers level off."

Asked by host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Cornel West: 'We're witnessing the collapse of the legitimacy of leadership' Head of Minnesota police chiefs association: Police not trained in hold used on George Floyd MORE about federal projections of between 100,000 and 240,000 eventual deaths in the U.S., Gates said, “If we do the social distancing properly, we should be able to get out of this with the death numbers well short of that.”

“It’s very important that those numbers are out there because a lot of people are still thinking, ‘Hey, isn’t life normal?’ not waking up every day to a completely new reality,” he added.

Gates also said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Protests risk spread of coronavirus | Health groups: Police brutality is a public health issue, too | Fauci says meetings with Trump have decreased Trump official leading COVID-19 testing to return to regular duties The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former Rep. Delaney says Trump is spewing venom when he should be leading; Protests roil the nation as fears of new virus outbreaks grow MORE was “doing a very good job of saying, ‘The numbers are what count here’” and noted that while there is reason to believe the virus may recur in the fall, that could buy time to develop treatments and eventually a vaccine.

“Things won’t go back to truly normal until we have a vaccine that we’ve gotten to basically the entire world,” he added, noting that, as was the case in China, there would likely first be a “partial opening up.”

“Some jobs will resume, school will partially resume, but we’ll have to be very, very careful not to have the rebound until the vaccine comes,” he added.