The Relentless Banality of Bill Gates's Mind
Like its author, How to Prevent the Next Pandemic breaks new ground in being terrifying, tedious and obtuse all at the same time.
Today is the day that nobody anywhere has been waiting for: Bill Gates’s wretched new book, How to Prevent the Next Pandemic, hit the shelves.
In case you were wondering whether the world’s most malevolent philanthropist had learned any lessons at all from the past two years of absurdist apocalyptic catastrophe, multidimensional failure, and wilful social and economic destruction, wonder no more: The dusty, poorly illuminated beige space that is Gates’s brain thinks our response has been fantastic, and he wants to do all of it more and harder the next time around. More testing, more tracing, more lockdowns, more pandemic planning, more epidemiologists, more technology, more vaccines, more models, more everything.
He lays out his case for repeating our unprecedented and expensive failures in a bizarre, cloying childish prose, punctuated spasmodically by weird little sketches.
He wants us to “Learn from COVID” (Chapter 1, on why we need to repeat all our failed policies in the future, only in more extreme form); “Create a pandemic prevention team” which he proposes to call GERM (Chapter 2); “Get better at detecting outbreaks early” (Chapter 3 on testing everything always and everywhere); “Help people help themselves right away” (Chapter 4, on nonpharmaceutical interventions, because I guess “helping” is a better euphemism for nationwide house arrests than “lockdowns”); “Find new treatments fast” (Chapter 5); “Get ready to make vaccines” (Chapter 6); “Practice practice practice” (Chapter 7, on the importance of more tabletop exercises and pandemic planning events); “Close the health gap between rich and poor countries” (Chapter 8); and “Make – and fund – a plan for preventing pandemics” (Chapter 9). Gates has obviously thoroughly enjoyed the past two years, and he’s very hopeful he’ll live to botch another pandemic.
I don’t know if a full review of this garbage is worth the trouble, but there must be some commentary on the astonishing stupidity of this book. Let’s see what Gates has to say about masks – a good litmus test for any commentator, since masking has proven to be unambiguously worthless: