One of the world's most successful innovators and philanthropists defended the U.S. response to the deadly Ebola epidemic Monday, saying he doesn't think the government waited too long to act.
Bill Gates, speaking at a discussion hosted by the website Politico, said he was thrilled when President Barack Obama decided to invest resources in containing the virus as it threatened to spread from West Africa into other regions and continents.
"Was there some other government who took decisive action before we did? Was the data really clear?" Gates asked during the discussion. "Is there someone else who's research is going to give us the vaccine that will be the key to making sure this outbreak doesn't happen again? The U.S. is the leader on being able to move into areas like this and help out."
The Microsoft billionaire, listed as the richest American by Forbes magazine, is co-chair along with his wife of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The two have tasked the foundation with battling the spread of polio and malaria as well as Ebola.
Gates did acknowledge that it took time for countries and leaders to realize the seriousness of this particular outbreak. However, he sounded confident that the situation will be handled effectively.
"Ebola isn't going to get to the level of something like malaria or an HIV, because I do think we're stepping up and will respond," Gates said.
Gates praised U.S. ability to handle the logistics of such a large emergency operation -- by moving resources and medical workers in and out of the region quickly and efficiently.