Screenshot via MSNBC

Bill Gates, who has warned about the impact of a global pandemic for years, has a brutal reality check on his GatesNotes blog — an antidote to happy talk about "reopening America."

Why it matters: Gates shows that activity will remain severely constrained — making you wonder how many businesses will be able to survive even after they "open up."

Listen to Gates' description of the "semi-normal" phase that most developed countries will move into in the next two months:

"People can go out, but not as often, and not to crowded places. Picture restaurants that only seat people at every other table, and airplanes where every middle seat is empty. Schools are open, but you can’t fill a stadium with 70,000 people. People are working some and spending some of their earnings, but not as much as they were before the pandemic ...
"One example of gradual reopening is Microsoft China, which has roughly 6,200 employees. So far about half are now coming in to work ...
"They insist people with symptoms stay home. They require masks and provide hand sanitizer and do more intensive cleaning. Even at work, they apply distancing rules and only allow travel for exceptional reasons. China has been conservative about opening up and has so far avoided any significant rebound."

Gates warns: "Large sporting and entertainment events probably will not make the cut for a long time; the economic benefit of the live audience doesn’t measure up to the risk of spreading the infection."

Go deeper

Trump says Fauci is "wrong" about coronavirus cases surge

President Trump and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci during an April daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump called out Anthony Fauci Saturday in a comment retweeting a video of the NIAID director explaining why coronavirus cases have been surging in the U.S.

Driving the news: In the video of Friday's testimony, Fauci explained that while European countries shut 95% of their economies, the U.S. "functionally shut down only about 50%." Trump responded, "Wrong! We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 20 million worldwide on Monday evening, Johns Hopkins data shows.

The big picture: World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference as the world approached the milestone that 750,000 deaths were set to be recorded this week. "Behind these statistics is a great deal of pain and suffering. Every life lost matters," he said. "But I want to be clear: there are green shoots of hope and... it's never too late to turn the outbreak around."

Aug 2, 2020 - World

Berlin protesters clash with police at massive anti-lockdown rally

Thousands of demonstrators protest against the current measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Berlin, Aug. 1. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images

Berlin police said Saturday night at least 18 officers were injured while trying to disperse a large crowd protesting Germany's coronavirus lockdown measures, according to a DW.com translation.

The big picture: Many in the estimated crowd of 17,000, made up of conspiracy theorists, right-wing populists and others, were not wearing masks, reports AP, which notes: "Unlike the U.S., Brazil and Britain, Germany’s government has been praised worldwide for its management of the pandemic." The country has confirmed more than 211,000 cases and just over 9,100 deaths from COVID-19, per Johns Hopkins data.

Editor's note: The top photo in this post has been replaced. The earlier photo depicted a demonstration against evictions.