Here’s how to make up for lost time on COVID-19

The country needs a consistent nationwide approach in how to treat the coronavirus. Until the case numbers start to go down, no one can continue business as usual or relax the shutdown.



April 2, 2020 - 10:08 AM

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, is now co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which helps fight the battle against infectious diseases. Photo by Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto/Zuma Press/TNS

There’s no question the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the novel coronavirus. But the window for making important decisions hasn’t closed. The choices we and our leaders make now will have an enormous impact on how soon case numbers start to go down, how long the economy remains shut down and how many Americans will have to bury a loved one because of COVID-19.

Through my work with the Gates Foundation, I’ve spoken with experts and leaders in Washington and across the country. It’s become clear to me that we must take three steps.

First, we need a consistent nationwide approach to shutting down. Despite urging from public health experts, some states and counties haven’t shut down completely. In some states, beaches are still open; in others, restaurants still serve sit-down meals.

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