It should also be noted that the actions taken in fighting COVID-19 are far more severe than those implemented a decade ago during the swine flu epidemic of 2009.
Responding to this crisis requires global cooperation among governments, worldwide organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum's mission as the worldwide Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. CEPI is now supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus. One in three Americans is now under the command "stay at home".
"It's disastrous for the economy, but the sooner you do it in a tough way, the sooner you can undo it and go back to normal", Gates added.
Leaders must not try to cheer people up by suggesting that they "keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies in the corner", Gates said, according to Forbes.
Mr Gates did not name the president but he told TED, "it's very irresponsible for somebody to suggest that we can have the best of both worlds".
"The US is past this opportunity to control (COVID-19) without shutdown", Gates states during a virtual TED Connects event. "The subject of the test should be organized urgently." said. "That is super, super urgent".
Gates pointed an accusing finger at the government that not enough had been invested to make a plan to stop it.
Many countries had not "taken advantage of the month of February", Gates said, adding that South Korea's approach to mass testing was a lesson "everyone should learn from".
"The ability to isolate - when you have to go out to get your food every day and earn your wage, when you live in a slum where you're very nearby each other - it gets very hard to do".
"I worry about all the economic damage but even worse will be how this will affect the developing countries who can not do the social distancing the same way as rich countries and whose hospital capacity is much lower".
'The talk was to say, "We're not ready for the next pandemic, but there's advances in science that if we put resources against them, we can be ready".
Speaking more generally about the coronavirus, Gates said: 'I think this is a unprecedented, really disconcerting time for everyone with things being shut down, not knowing exactly how long it's going to last, worrying about the health of all the people we care about.
This was not the last time Gates made a similar warning.