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Bill Gates Says Covid-19 Deaths Could Fall to Seasonal Flu Levels by Next Year

There finally seems to be a light at the end of the pandemic’s tunnel, at least according to Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images

The billionaire spoke at a conference in Singapore on Thursday, saying the number of cases and deaths from Covid-19 will be dropping “pretty dramatically.” He estimates that both rates could reach seasonal flu levels by the middle of 2022 — pending no new dangerous variants.

“The vaccines are very good news, and the supply constraints will be largely solved as we get out in the middle of next year, and so we’ll be limited by the logistics and the demand,” Gates said in a virtual interview with Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait.

Related: Can Small Businesses Mandate Employee Vaccinations?

There were several reasons why Gates said Covid-19 cases and deaths would drop, including natural immunity and more widespread vaccine distribution. Another reason was the availability of new oral pills hitting the market.

Most notably, drugmakers Merck and Pfizer have asked for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to distribute their respective Covid pills. And approval from the FDA could mean availability before the end of 2021.

“All the excitement around these medications is warranted,” Dr. Daniel Griffin, a clinical instructor of medicine in the division of infectious disease at Columbia University Medical Center, told CNBC.

Related: COVID-19 Will Fuel the Next Wave of Innovation

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