Bill Gates said Sunday on "Meet the Press" that the U.S. is "running the worst testing system, in terms of who gets access to it, of any country" on COVID-19, but added: "The U.S. government, this is one category we've actually done a decent job, has funded the research" on vaccines.
CHUCK TODD: Let's move to the vaccine. We know there's a lot of vaccine candidates out there. What is -- from where you're perched, where are we on this progress and when do you expect to see the first one that can be used for, say, elderly and those first responders?
BILL GATES: Yeah, it's very impressive how the pharmaceutical industry has diverted resources, gotten involved. The U.S. government, this is one category we've actually done a decent job, has funded the research here. And so I think it's likely by early next year that several of these vaccines will get that emergency use authorization. You know, Pfizer may be the first, even late in the year. But they all are showing pretty good data. The phase three data is the key thing, particularly for the safety, making sure we're not seeing side effects. So the tool is ramping up, and over the course of the first half of the year, those volumes will get to the point where we really will be asking Americans to, you know, step forward. The effectiveness could range. You know, it could be as low as 50% or as high as 80% or 90%. And different vaccines, some will fail completely and others will hit a very high bar. But we don't know yet.