In spite of Omicron Covid-19 variant, Bill Gates, the 66-year-old American billionaire with a net worth of $137 billion believes the acute phase of the pandemic will end in 2022.
The American born billionaire noted in a year-in-review blog post that progress has been disappointing due to the delta variant, the number of Covid-19 deaths this year, and challenges with vaccine uptake. He is however optimistic about the coming year and believes the acute phase of the pandemic will end around 2022.
The Microsoft co-founder said, “There is no doubt that the Omicron variant is concerning. Nevertheless, here’s what we know: We’re better prepared to deal with bad variants than we’ve ever been.”
World health officials are dealing with a new strain, and U.S. cases have topped 50 million. Gates estimated the disease is approximately 10 times as lethal as the flu, but vaccines and antivirals may reduce it by half.
“Although outbreaks will still occur occasionally in communities, new drugs will be available that can handle most cases, and hospitals will be able to handle the rest.”
Gates’ cash in the bank remains near record levels despite low-interest rates. Bloomberg Billionaires Index data shows the tech billionaire has $56 billion in cash in the bank. Gates’ current wealth valuation is equivalent to about 1.82 billion barrels of crude oil or 76.8 million troy ounces.
Microsoft stock sales and dividends created Cascade Investment, which accounts for most of Gates’ fortune. Using Bloomberg data, Gates has received more than $55 billion in stocks and dividends. In 2004, Gates received $3.3 billion from Microsoft, which he donated to his foundation.
The company’s 2019 proxy filing shows that he owns about 1.3% of Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker. In subsequent proxy statements, his stake in Microsoft is not disclosed as he stepped down as a director in March 2020.
The Giving Pledge he signed in 2010 reaffirmed his commitment to donating most of his wealth to charity.
Former U.S President, Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2016
In addition to his divorce from Melinda French Gates, the tech billionaire turned philanthropist expressed sadness.
Announcing their separation in May, the couple detailed rumours of infidelity and long-simmering tensions between the two. As a result, questions were raised about how the pair would manage their $50 billion philanthropic powerhouse.
Gates said they have found a good working rhythm and are continuing to run their foundation together.
“I cannot deny that it has been an incredibly difficult year for me. It is never easy to adapt to change, no matter what it is. Throughout this challenging time, I have been amazed at how resilient my loved ones-especially my kids-have been,” Gates said.