Bill Gates warns next pandemic could be deadlier than a Yellowstone eruption

Bill Gates warns in 2015 of virus causing 'global catastrophe'

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In 2015, just a few years before the coronavirus unleashed itself unto the world, Microsoft founder Bill Gates warned of an unknown ‘Disease X’ which could wipe out millions of people. The Microsoft chief said “we’re not ready” for the next epidemic at a 2015 Ted Talk. He was proven right in December 2019, when the first case of COVID-19 was detected.

Since then, more than 2.3 million people have died across the planet as a result of the pandemic.

Now, Mr Gates is warning the next viral outbreak will be even more deadly.

In fact, the tech billionaire has said the next pandemic will kill more people than a Yellowstone eruption.

In an interview with science journalist Derek Muller on his Veritasium YouTube channel, Mr Gates said: “My favourite writer, Vaclav Smil, wrote about all the potential types of disasters, like the risk of an asteroid, the risk of an eruption in Yellowstone (a volcano in the USA).

“And in fact, he showed that pandemics were significantly the thing, bigger, aside from a man-made nuclear war, for which we needed to be more prepared.

“Certainly there will be more pandemics. Because of the way humans interact with other species, these viruses cross the species barrier, be it from bats or monkeys.”

However, by learning from the Covid outbreak, humanity could be better prepared for the next pandemic, he said.

Mr Gates continued: “We could increase our preparedness so that we never have a death toll close to the current one.”

Not only would the immediate blast of Yellowstone kill hundreds of thousands of people across northwestern USA, but a ‘nuclear winter’ is likely to follow.

A nuclear winter is when so much ash and debris from Earth would be ploughed into the atmosphere.

This would cause a climate shift to ensue as the volcano would spew massive amounts of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere, which can form a sulphur aerosol that reflects and absorbs sunlight.

Ultimately, this would cause temperatures to fall across the planet, which can lead to the lack of ability to grow crops and ultimately widespread famine.

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Yellowstone is not due to erupt any time soon, but another pandemic is inevitable.

As humans continuously expand their territory, they move into the domain of animals – which can spread disease and pass it on to humans.

This was thought to be the case with COVID-19, however the CDC says: “We do not know the exact source of the current outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but we know that it originally came from an animal, likely a bat.

“At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to people.”

With humans coming into closer contact with the animal world, zoonotic diseases are becoming easier to pass on.

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