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News Analysis May 7, 2022 3:20 PM EST

WATCH: Bill Gates says COVID is a ‘disease mainly of the elderly’ with ‘low fatality rate’, likens it to the flu

"We didn't understand that it's a fairly low fatality rate, and that it's a disease mainly of the elderly, kind of like the flu."

WATCH: Bill Gates says COVID is a ‘disease mainly of the elderly’ with ‘low fatality rate’, likens it to the flu
James Anthony Montreal QC

Billionaire Bill Gates, in an interview on Thursday, said he now understands that COVID has a "fairly low" mortality rate, and that it's similar to the flu.

"It wasn't until early February, when I was in a meeting , that experts of the foundation, said 'there's no way' [that COVID could have been contained]."

"This, there's been too much travel without diagnosis for us to contain this," he said.

At that time, people, including former President Donald Trump, called for banning travel to and from China, where the virus started.

Gates continued on to say what's been common knowledge for a long time:

"At that point, we didn't really understand the fatality rate. We didn't understand that it's a fairly low fatality rate, and that it's a disease mainly of the elderly, kind of like the flu, although it's a bit different than that."

Gates pivoted back, saying America should have been more vigilant — despite having just admitted that the crisis wasn't as serious as he initially thought.

"So that was a pretty scary period, where the world didn't go on alert, including the United States, nearly as fast as it needed to."

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