Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Tuesday morning that the U.S. acted too slowly and missed its chance to avoid mandatory stay-at-home orders to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, saying that "everybody should have taken notice back in January" when the first case was detected in Washington state.

"There's the period between where we realized it was transmitting and now where we should've done more," Gates said during a video discussion with Chris Anderson of TED, a non-profit organization that hosts talks and online communities.

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