As countries around the world battle the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, tech mogul and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has made some dire predictions for the United States.
During a recent interview with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer, Gates suggested that come fall, the US may witness an increase in death tolls comparable to those during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
"Our peak death rate was well over 2,000 a day," he said. "But as we get into the fall and people are more indoors — if we haven't cut the infections going into that — we could get back up to that 2,000 a day."
At the same time, Gates noted an apparent reduction in the risk of death from the coronavirus, describing it as "a sign of the progress that has already been made in treating severe cases", as the media outlet put it, and mentioning "increased medical knowledge and treatments like the anti-viral drug remdesivir, which shortens hospital stays for patients with the illness".
"The doctors have learned to use the ventilator less," he remarked. "To use oxygen earlier. The risk of death has gone down almost a factor of two because of these treatment understandings".
While the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is known to be supporting research into at least seven separate COVID-19 vaccines, committing hundreds of billions of dollars toward combating the pathogen, it seems that Bill Gates' efforts have made him a target of conspiracy theories claiming that the vaccination could be used to either implant microchips into people or as a form of population control.
One social media post even falsely alleged that Gates was a partner in a "lab in Wuhan", and that he "owns the patent for coronavirus and owns the vaccine".
Gates has staunchly denied theories that accused him of either being behind the COVID-19 outbreak or trying to use it for some nefarious purpose.