KEY POINTS

  • Bill Gates continues his crusade against Trump's false claim the U.S. has the best COVID-19 testing in the world
  • Gates condemned testing in the U.S., which take up to weeks for results to show-up, as "worthless"
  • He called the administration's tests "garbage" and inequitable to low and middle class

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates again harshly assailed President Donald Trump and his administration's handling of COVID-19 testing, calling it the “most worthless” in the world.

Gates told CNN on Sunday it is “mind-blowing” the Trump Administration’s failure to provide prompt and affordable on-demand  COVID-19 tests to all Americans. As for the tests results, Gates blasted them as slow, unreliable and unavailable to low- and middle-class Americans.

“You’re paying billions of dollars in this very inequitable way to get the most worthless test results of any country in the world,” declared Gates. “No other country has this testing insanity.”

Gates blames the Trump Administration’s early inaction on testing for allowing the virus to spiral out of control. The failure to quickly identify and isolate those infected with COVID-19 allowed the virus to spread unchecked and undetected.

The pandemic officially arrived in the U.S. on Jan. 20 with the first confirmed case. As of Sunday, the disease has infected 5.2 million Americans while killing 166,000 others, according to data from Worldometer. The first American death from the disease was announced Feb. 29.

With some 4% of the world's population, the U.S. accounts for about a quarter of all cases and deaths. It leads the world in both categories.

“A variety of early missteps by the U.S. and then the political atmosphere meant that we didn’t get our testing going,” he said.

Gates assailed the long lines at commercial testing labs six months into the pandemic and blasted unconscionable delays in obtaining test results. Some tests are taking up to two weeks before results are released, he said, and Americans "pay as much for the late result as the timely result.” Meanwhile, “very wealthy people have access to these quick-turnaround tests."

“It’s mind-blowing that you can’t get the government to improve the testing because they just want to say how great it is,” Gates said in an attack on Trump’s claim America has the best testing in the world.

Trump repeated this falsehood last week, telling Fox News the U.S. has “the best ever, the best in the world (in testing)."

Gates had much the same message during a scathing interview with Wired published over the weekend. He called the administration's tests "garbage" and assailed drug firms for making obscene amounts of money by profiting off the disease's misery.

"The majority of all U.S. tests are completely garbage, wasted," Gates asserted.

"If you don’t care how late the date is and you reimburse at the same level, of course they’re going to take every customer. Because they are making ridiculous money, and it’s mostly rich people that are getting access to that."

He called on the federal government to correct the reimbursement system and incentivize healthcare companies to speed up turnaround times by covering a higher amount of the costs based on speed and accuracy.

"Here we are, this is August. We are the only country in the world where we waste the most money on tests. Fix the reimbursement. Set up the CDC website. But I have been on that kick, and people are tired of listening to me."

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, seen here in October 2019, has been a top target of Russian-backed conspiracy theories, according to a US report Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, seen here in October 2019, has been a top target of Russian-backed conspiracy theories, according to a US report Photo: AFP / JEFF PACHOUD