Microsoft founder Bill Gates predicted in 2018 that a new disease could kill 30 million people in six months, while his foundation posted a simulation showing an epidemic spreading from China, which is currently facing a “grave situation” to handle the accelerating speed of the deadly coronavirus. In a December 2018 report, the Business Insider cited Gates as saying that the world is not prepared for pandemics amid an increase in the population and environmental degradation. He claimed that a small non-state actor even had the ability to build a deadlier form of smallpox in a lab environment.
Touching upon the fact that people have the ability to travel across the globe in a matter of hours in our day, Gates said that a new outbreak like SARS could kill some 30 million people in six months. "In the case of biological threats, that sense of urgency is lacking," Gates said, adding that countries need to prepare for pandemics in the same serious way they prepare for war. Chinese President Xi Jinping held a politburo meeting on Saturday to discuss means to fight the coronavirus outbreak, which he said is accelerating its spread and the country is facing a “grave situation.” The central Chinese city of Wuhan, where 41 people were reported dead, remains under lockdown to prevent the spread of the disease.