Microsoft founder Bill Gates told "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace President Trump may have worsened the coronavirus pandemic with his travel bans, in an exclusive interview set to air this weekend.
On Jan. 31, Trump issued a travel ban on China after the coronavirus broke out in Wuhan before issuing others in February and March, banning travel from Europe and other countries with coronavirus outbreaks.
"We created this rush, and we didn’t have the ability to test or quarantine those people," the billionaire philanthropist said.
"And so that seeded the disease here. You know, the ban probably accelerated that, the way it was executed," Gates said.
Wallace pressed Gates: "You’re saying that the travel bans made the situation worse, not better?"
Gates explained that "March saw this incredible explosion -- the West Coast coming from China and then the East Coast coming out of Europe, and so, even though we’d seen China and we’d seen Europe, that testing capacity and clear message of how to behave wasn’t there."
On Thursday, Gates said the Food and Drug Administration has "lost a lot of credibility" during the pandemic in an interview with Bloomberg.
Early on in response to COVID-19, experts from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were in regular contact with the Trump administration, urging officials to come up with a plan for testing and to get surveillance data up on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, STAT News reports.
“There’s no question the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the novel coronavirus,” Gates wrote in a Washington Post op-ed on March 31.
“The choices we and our leaders make now will have an enormous impact on how soon case numbers start to go down, how long the economy remains shut down and how many Americans will have to bury a loved one because of Covid-19.”