Bill Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft and one of the world’s largest philanthropists via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said that no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office, Americans will still resist a mandate to wear face masks. It comes with the territory of their belief in “individual freedom.”

He blames this for the slow response in the United States to the CCP Virus pandemic.

This week, at the Democratic National Convention, speakers have consistently derided President Trump for his handling of the pandemic and are using it to push for a Joe Biden presidency.

“I don’t think a change in administrations will get people to wear masks,” Gates told The Economist. ”It’s hard to see how we build that trust network and improved behavior. It’ll mostly be incremental.”

When asked about the debates on whether wearing face masks can help to prevent the spread of the virus, he said freedom was something Americans valued, and it had created a reluctance to go along with the directions. “We believe in freedom, individual freedom. We optimize for individual rights.”

The initial testing for the virus in the United States got off to a slow start, said Gates, but he credits the United States for funding toward research and development as a “huge favor” for humanity.

“We do need to finance these constructs so that we get them out globally because that’s the only way the epidemic ends. We all need to spend billions to get the vaccine out to save the trillions,” he told Zanny Minton Beddoes, The Economist’s editor-in-chief, in an interview in early August.

Several years ago, Gates warned of a pandemic and said it was not a matter of “if’” but “when.”

The Gates Foundation has pledged more than $350 million to the pandemic response, and Gates has predicted millions of lives will be lost worldwide, with the worst yet to come, he told Beddoes.

The strain world economies are suffering from, along with substandard health care in world countries, will be to blame for the deaths, rather than the virus itself, said Gates. He also mentioned the response to the virus had been slowed by the politicizing of the virus. However, he predicted that by the end of 2021, a mass vaccination program would be available to much of the world’s population, halting the spread of the pandemic.

“All the countries but the United States do need to think about why weren’t they able to orchestrate early high-risk money,” he said.

“Thank goodness BARDA, with all its imperfections, was there to move things ahead,” he said, referring to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services office, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, for its research and development.

President Trump’s administration approved $6.5 billion for “countermeasure development” through BARDA and funding for other COVID-19 [CCP Virus] vaccine and treatment research through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Operation Warp Speed, reported BizPacReview.

“This was a huge favor that was done for the entire world and it’s done so we can globally take on the challenge,” Gates added.

He estimates it will take between 30 percent–60 percent of the population to be vaccinated to slow, and ultimately, stop the “exponential spread” of the pandemic.