Bill Gates addressed the nation of China, praising their response to the coronavirus pandemic—which may well have begun in a Wuhan virology lab before leaking to the rest of the world.
In a brief video with Chinese subtitles marking the Lunar New Year, Gates praised China for their handling of the pandemic, saying that "China has worked hard to not only contain the virus, but also contributed to closing the equity gap by supporting other countries with many different supplies, including great vaccines."
"I want to wish everyone in China, a very Happy Lunar New Year. Just as the tiger symbolizes vitality and health, our Foundation has continued work over this past year," Gates began his message.
"The recent troubling, and highly contagious Omicron variant means the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over. Since the onset of the pandemic, China has worked hard to not only contain the virus, but also contributed to closing the equity gap by supporting other countries with many different supplies, including great vaccines," Gates said.
That the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China, has been considered a "plausible" theory by many scientists. There have also been allegations that China covered up the initial reports of COVID and did not work to contain the virus before it spread globally.
"I'm hopeful that by the end of this new year the COVID pandemic will largely be over," Gates said.
"I was also thrilled to hear the news that in June, that the WHO recognized China's remarkable success in defeating malaria, declaring the country officially free from the disease," Gates said. The Gates Foundation has made a mission of combating malaria worldwide.
"So like many of you, I believe the world can become better. And I know innovation and collaboration are key to getting there. I look forward to once again being able to travel to China, to see all of you and this work, in person. But for now have a wonderful holiday and a very healthy and happy new year," Gates concluded.