Despite his optimism for 2022, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates still has some concerns about 2022.
In Gates’ recent year-end blog, “Reasons for Optimism after a Tough Year,” he made multiple rosy predictions—from the potentially ending Covid pandemic, to the upcoming rise of metaviruses.
But he predicted that there is one particular problem that could slow or impede much of this progress and that is the people’s mistrust of governments. “It is one of the issues I am most concerned about heading into 2022,” he wrote.
Gates noted that public institutions need to be a major player in key issues such as tackling climate change or preventing the next pandemic. But they can do little if people reject their directives in principle, according to “CNBC” network, which was seen by “Al Arabiya.net”.
“If your people do not trust you, they will not support major new initiatives,” Gates wrote. “And when a major crisis emerges, they are unlikely to follow the guidelines needed to weather the storm.”
This mistrust has become particularly evident since the onset of the pandemic: “Misinformation about the Covid virus has spread to both the United States and the rest of the world, hampering vaccination rates and ultimately delaying the end of the epidemic.
But Pew Research Center research in pre-Covid times showed similar trends in a 2019 survey of American adults, in which 75% of respondents said their citizens’ trust in the federal government was waning.
And 64% of the respondents said that Americans’ trust in each other is also waning. Nearly four out of 10 respondents believed that the lack of trust made it more difficult to deal with issues such as health care, immigration and gun violence.
In his post, Gates noted that 24-hour news cycles, politically motivated headlines and social media have played a role in the “growing division” — and that governments may need to regulate online platforms to effectively dispel misinformation.
Gates also expressed concern that without rapid intervention, Americans might be more likely to elect and encourage politicians who openly express mistrust. This can then cause the so-called snowball effect to cause the audience to become ‘more frustrated’.
Gates did not offer a solution, seeing it as a problem he was not sure how to deal with.
“Actually, I don’t have the answers,” he wrote. “I plan to continue researching and reading other people’s ideas, especially from young people. I hope the generations growing up on the Internet will have new ideas on how to tackle a deep-rooted problem in the Internet.”