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  • - Hi, everyone, welcome

  • to the Khan Academy Daily Homeroom, Sal Khan here.

  • Thanks for joining us, we have a pretty exciting show

  • I guess today.

  • For those of you all that this is the first time

  • you're joining, the whole idea is in this time

  • of school closures, we at Khan Academy, we're trying

  • to make sure that you have the resources needed

  • to keep learning, that you know how to use those resources,

  • and, that we have ways to stay connected in times

  • of these closures.

  • And that's why we're doing this webinars

  • and why we're doing these live streams.

  • I do wanna highlight as I always do in the seminar,

  • in these live streams.

  • Khan Academy is a not for profit with a mission

  • of providing a free world class education

  • for anyone anywhere.

  • And we we're running in a little bit

  • of a deficit even before, this whole crisis struck

  • but now we're seeing our traffic is three acts

  • of what it normally is,

  • and so any support is super valuable.

  • I wanna give a special thanks to several corporations

  • that have stepped up in the last few weeks in record time,

  • Bank of America followed by AT&T, google.org, and Novartis.

  • And many of you have also helped donate

  • to help close our gap.

  • And with that, I wanna make sure we have

  • as much time as possible for our guest today,

  • I'll introduce someone who is known for many many things,

  • including one of being one of the longtime supporters

  • of Khan Academy, we have Bill Gates here today.

  • And, I encourage everyone, whether you're watching

  • on YouTube, or Facebook or any other platform,

  • post questions on the message boards,

  • we have team members who will surface questions

  • and I can ask bill those questions over

  • the course of our conversation.

  • So Bill, great to see you, maybe a good place

  • to start is, how is the situation affecting you personally?

  • How's the social distancing?

  • And where are you spending most of your time?

  • - Well, I think everyone's lives

  • are almost completely upended.

  • The normal, things I do, talking about Polio eradication,

  • going into meetings at the foundation, traveling

  • to meet with scientists.

  • That's all gone, when I wake up in the morning

  • and I think was this a nightmare?

  • Are we really in this almost different world?

  • Where Coronavirus is the top priority, we've got

  • to get this thing under control.

  • I'm doing lots of online meetings,

  • I use Microsoft Teams for those things.

  • I don't get to see many people beyond my family in person.

  • So it's a, huge adjustment and yet there's so much

  • to be done, It's like I'm not not busy.

  • - And where are you spending most of your time?

  • Is that around the virus work?

  • - Yes, that's, the our foundation works

  • on infectious diseases, we are the biggest funder

  • of vaccine work, we understand, how to make vaccines

  • in volume, we do the disease modeling.

  • And so, the skills that we have,

  • understanding private sector, being able to work

  • with governments, what regulatory things should

  • be maintained for safety, and which ones,

  • because we've got to move so fast, Should you go around?

  • and talking to leaders, talking to Tony Fauci,

  • About Okay, how do we make sure the public is seeing this

  • in the right way.

  • We explain, why it takes so long for a vaccine,

  • which is such a key thing to.. until we have that,

  • We can open up a bit but

  • we won't go back completely to normal.

  • And so we're orchestrating, all of our partners around,

  • getting the testing right, getting the drugs right,

  • and getting a vaccine which will will bring us

  • to the end of this.

  • - Yeah, now we're gonna talk more about that.

  • And actually, the first question I wanna surface

  • is from Facebook, Abid Sheikh,

  • and I think it's front of mind for a lot of us.

  • He writes Hello, since you predicted about

  • a similar outbreak in the 2015, Ted Talk,

  • how did you react to the news about the Covid 19 pandemic?

  • And that he's referring to a famously for

  • anyone who doesn't know, Bill made a talk in 2015,

  • that essentially was very prescient

  • of the situation we're in now.

  • - Yeah, and I wrote a New England Journal

  • of Medicine article that really went through

  • the specific things, like high speed diagnostics

  • and vaccine platforms that we needed to fund.

  • This is certainly a case where being able to say,

  • I told you so is not at all gratifying,

  • because this is a horrific disaster and in my lifetime,

  • whether it's health or economics or just uncertainty

  • for people, there's nothing like this.

  • And the goal there, was to get governments to step up,

  • so that you could easily make a new RNA vaccine

  • or you'd have, the testing capacity very, very rapidly.

  • I'm sure that because this is so widespread

  • that next time we will have made those investments,

  • but it's unfortunate that, very little got done in

  • our foundation, Wellcome Trust,

  • a few others did fund work along these lines,

  • but not enough.

  • And, you know, so here, here we are.

  • - And give us a sense of where we are right now.

  • And we could talk a little bit about maybe

  • what could or should have happened, but where are we now?

  • What's your analysis, how bad is the situation

  • in the US rest of world, how close are we to peak?

  • How's it's gonna play out over the next few weeks or months?

  • - Yeah so, the concept of exponential growth,

  • is not that intuitive to people,

  • but when you have this human

  • to human transmissible respiratory virus,

  • it creates exponential growth, that is each case leads

  • to, say two or more cases, and so, if we haven't changed

  • our behavior, there's no doubt the majority of people would

  • be infected, and you'd get this huge overload

  • of the medical system, and literally millions of deaths.

  • The reactions, whenever you're gonna stop something

  • that's exponential, the sooner you act,

  • the better because then you can act in a way that

  • you don't overload your hospital systems.

  • And you can treat the cases very, very well.

  • Testing is key to know where's the spread,

  • and to inform people that they need

  • to really isolate themselves, the tests

  • the PCR test can actually see the virus before

  • you're symptomatic, before you would

  • be transmitting to people.

  • And so, if we had had the testing right prioritized,

  • that would help with this, with the social isolation,

  • by the end of the month with any luck, we'll start

  • to see the curve level off.

  • And then another month, the number of cases would come down.

  • And you could get to a point where,

  • because you are targeting the testing

  • and giving quick results, that will do start

  • to open up in a way like China has where kids do go

  • to school, people go back to their jobs,

  • it's not normal that they don't do sports events

  • or big gatherings, that will wait until the vaccine

  • but we'd like, if things go well,

  • and the numbers will drive it. we'd like to see

  • thatability to open up somewhat by ideally early summer.

  • - And as we are all seeing evidence

  • that the social distancing is working that

  • we are on track to peak, in the next few weeks

  • and then, get to maybe a more a better state by the end

  • of, I guess would be by the end of May.

  • - Well, China had in Hebei Province, over 80,000 cases

  • and so that's the model where they intervened

  • in a very dramatic way,

  • they enforced their quarantine very strongly.

  • They did their contact tracing, they used the testing,

  • people would get testing results very quickly,

  • and it was the right people.

  • They are now, able to open up.

  • South Korea had reasonable number of cases,

  • but they did the testing did the tracing,

  • and so now they are in the situation where,

  • they've definitely bent the curve.

  • There are a few countries like Taiwan

  • who did all the right things and never allowed

  • the large numbers to develop.

  • That unfortunately for most countries,

  • we can't go back and change the fact we missed

  • that early opportunity, but they, there are communities

  • where we are starting to see the numbers peak

  • because of that social isolation, so that's the first step

  • is that peak, but you don't open up until

  • they're in absolute, way below,

  • like a factor of five below where they are today.

  • - Wow, and just from us, I don't know from either economic

  • or a scientific point of view,

  • why do we see this disparity in testing,

  • or even the types of tests?

  • In the US right now, even if you're kind of lucky enough

  • to get a test, so to speak, it could still take several days

  • to get a result, while you know, I heard stories

  • in Taiwan three months ago, you get your results

  • before you leave the airport?

  • - Yeah, the very sensitive test is

  • the Polymerase Chain Reaction PCR, where you make

  • the primer specifically for this virus.

  • It's an amazing test and there's a lot

  • of machines out there, in commercial labs, academic centers,

  • public health labs, that we were slow

  • to get them all going, even today,

  • we're not completely taken advantage of that.

  • If you make sure you're testing healthcare workers,

  • you don't let the queue to get very long,

  • you're testing contacts and people who test positive,

  • that really is guiding individual behavior

  • and the abroad behavior.

  • And so that in the US, we actually have more

  • of those machines per capita than South Korea

  • or anyone else.

  • So, it should be possible.

  • There isn't a set of criteria though, that stops somebody

  • who's not symptomatic from say, getting in the queue

  • and testing themselves every day

  • just 'cause they're worried, versus that healthcare worker.

  • And so, we do need to bring a sense of prioritization

  • and not let these queues mean, it's taking too long

  • to get the results back.

  • - Are you hopeful that that's going to change over

  • the next couple of weeks?

  • - Yes, well, there's a lot of discussion about it,

  • the notion of okay,

  • does the federal level really jump into that?

  • Which agency, has the right expertise to be able to do that?

  • And so, that I think is likely

  • to improve in the weeks ahead.

  • - And your prediction of hitting a peak

  • in the country in a few weeks,

  • one question I've been curious about it,

  • places like California I know in Seattle and Washington,

  • we've been in some form of stay at home policy,

  • stay in place policy, lockdown policy

  • for about three weeks now, and the quarantine time

  • is typically two weeks, why aren't we seeing

  • the peak cases sooner, why is it taking so much time?

  • - Well, there's the league of, once you do the shutdown,

  • you need to go, at least maybe two infection periods before

  • you'd really expect to see things going down.

  • Also, we weren't doing enough testing, and so,

  • now we're seeing, a higher percentage

  • of what's actually out there.

  • And, but the actual the numbers for California

  • and Washington are very hopeful,

  • the New York numbers continue to go up.

  • We have cities with explosive growth, like Detroit,

  • New Orleans, but the there are early signs,

  • that our, our changes have made a difference.

  • Our lockdown is not as extreme as what they did in China,

  • but it should be enough in the places

  • where there's strong adherence, to get to that peak.