“Just when it seemed like life would return to normal, we could be entering the worst part of the pandemic,” Gates wrote in a lengthy Twitter thread on Tuesday. In the posts, Gates claimed some of his friends have contracted Omicron and he has canceled “most” of his holiday plans due to the variant driving a spike in Covid cases.
Omicron was first discovered last month in South Africa and has since been detected in multiple countries. Texas reported what may be the first death linked to the variant this week. Though little is still actually known about the variant, Gates warned it must be taken “seriously” as it will drive the “worst surge” of Covid cases that we have seen yet because it’s “so infectious.”
If we take the “right steps,” including masking, avoiding big indoor gatherings, and getting vaccinated, Gates said, the pandemic could end sometime next year.
“If there’s good news here, it’s that Omicron moves so quickly that once it becomes dominant in a country, the wave there should last less than 3 months. Those few months could be bad, but I still believe if we take the right steps, the pandemic can be over in 2022,” the Microsoft founder tweeted.
Gates has already drawn fire during the pandemic, with conspiracy theorists linking his name to numerous unfounded claims surrounding vaccines – possibly due to his charity work distributing doses to underdeveloped nations – while others have criticized him for his views on lockdowns and vaccines. His latest lamentation about not being back to a “normal” life and needing to cancel his holiday plans was met with little sympathy on social media.
“Announcing a sacrifice that means nothing while promoting more of the same fear and hysteria that is shutting down businesses, killing jobs & destroying sobriety & mental health,” Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce tweeted.
In a year-end blog post published earlier this month, Gates called 2021, in which he also got divorced, “the most unusual and difficult year” of his life. In that post, he also predicted the pandemic could end in 2022.
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