In 2 Op-Eds And TED Talk, Bill Gates Outlines Steps For Improving Global Preparedness For Disease Outbreaks

News outlets discuss two opinion pieces published Wednesday, one in the New England Journal of Medicine and another in the New York Times, and a TED conference talk given Wednesday by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who highlights steps for the world to better prepare for disease outbreaks.

Agence France-Presse: Bill Gates calls for ‘germ games’ instead of war games
“Bill Gates opened a mock Ebola field hospital at the prestigious TED Conference as part of a call to be battle-ready for a deadly global epidemic. The Microsoft software mogul and philanthropist called for ‘germ games not war games’ to train response forces and reveal holes in defenses. ‘The Ebola epidemic was a wake-up call to get ready,’ Gates said during an on-stage presentation at TED in Vancouver…” (Chapman, 3/18).

The Atlantic: How to Prevent the Next Ebola
“In a pair of editorials, Bill Gates lays out a plan to fight outbreaks on a global scale. … In NEJM, Gates calls for a kind of global SWAT team for outbreaks. He envisions an operations center that’s manned by ‘experts in epidemiology, surveillance, outbreak response, social anthropology, and other areas who can provide surge capacity for the response’…” (Khazan, 3/18).

BBC News: TED 2015: Bill Gates warns on future disease epidemic
“The world needs to prepare for the next major health crisis, Bill Gates has told delegates at the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference. While Ebola seems to be being kept under control currently, next time ‘we may not be so lucky,’ the Microsoft co-founder warned. He said that there were plenty of technology tools that could be used to contain the spread of a virus. And, he added, governments should learn from how nations prepare for war…” (Wakefield, 3/19).

The Hill: Bill Gates: World needs global response system for outbreaks
“…Gates laid out a blueprint for the global response system Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. His plan focuses on creating a central international institution and building up the basic health systems in poor countries — an ambitious and costly plan that he says would take years of work…” (Ferris, 3/18).

The Verge: Bill Gates: Time to make a ‘war game’ for infectious disease
“…Gates also writes that the global health community should increase its investment in developing new tools for diagnosis and treatment, as well as improving the global health warning system. Also, the global community should establish a NATO-like force of trained people and run preparedness drills to help identify any weak links, he says…” (Lopatto, 3/18).

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