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Bill Gates Believes US Coronavirus Death Toll Might Be Lower Than White House Estimates

Neer Varshney

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates on Sunday told Fox News that the death toll from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could be significantly lower than the figures suggested by President Donald Trump’s administration.

“Well, if we do the social distancing properly, we should be able to get out of this with the death number well short of that,” Gates told Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace.

The White House officials have predicted a death toll between 100,000 and 240,000 in the country.

Gates pointed out that the number of coronavirus cases in the country was already reduced due to the preventative measures. “[If] we had kept on going to work, traveling like we were, you know, that curve would never bend until you had the majority of the people infected and then a massive number seeking hospital care and lots of lots of deaths,” he said.

The billionaire entrepreneur described the virus outbreak as a “nightmare scenario,” because of its ability to transmit at a rapid pace. Nevertheless, the pandemic isn’t the “worst case,” according to him, as it has a much lower fatality rate compared to more deadly diseases like smallpox.

Gates had previously criticized Trump without naming him directly for suggesting to prematurely open the economy even as the number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise in the country.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $100 million in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Microsoft shares closed 0.92% lower at $153.83 on Friday. The shares traded slightly lower in the after-hours session at $153.62.

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