Bill Gates: Majority of US COVID-19 tests are ‘completely garbage, wasted’


Bill Gates has been among the vocal figures in discussing how to deal with the coronavirus.

CBS News

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Bill Gates criticized the amount of time it takes for people to get their COVID-19 test results back, saying that lack of immediate turnaround essentially turns them into “garbage.”

“The majority of all US tests are completely garbage, wasted,” he said in an interview with Wired

He noted that the reimbursement system set up by the federal government pays at the same level for all tests, which means companies providing them just administer as many as possible. But the government could fix this if they changed the system to pay extra for results in 24 hours, a normal fee for 48 hours and nothing if it goes longer. 

“They will fix it overnight,” he said. 

He also noted that COVID-19 tests don’t necessarily need to jam deep into the back of your nose, as they commonly did in the early days of tests. He said that a self-test that just touches the top of your nose with a cotton swab is just as effective. 

Gates also reiterated his prediction that the pandemic and its effects will largely end for the developed nation by the end of 2021, with the rest of world seeing an effective vaccine by the end of 2022.

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