Gates Foundation spending an additional $150 million on coronavirus response after Bill Gates slammed Trump for withdrawing support for WHO
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday said it would spend an additional $150 million on coronavirus response efforts, raising its total commitment to $250 million. The new funds will go toward developing testing, treatment, and vaccines for COVID-19 as well as strengthening healthcare systems in Africa and South Asia, the charity said. The announcement comes just a day after Bill Gates slammed President Donald Trump's decision to cut US funding for the World Health Organization.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced in a press release Wednesday that it would pitch in an additional $150 million to the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, bringing its total commitment to $250 million. The charity said the new funds would be put toward developing testing, treatments, and vaccines for COVID-19 as well as helping its partners in Africa and South Asia expand their "detection, treatment, and isolation efforts." "It is increasingly clear that the world's response to this pandemic will not be effective unless it is also equitable," the charity's cochair Melinda Gates said, adding that the funds "will support efforts against COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries, where local leaders and healthcare workers are doing heroic work to protect vulnerable communities." The announcement came just a day after Bill Gates criticized President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US financial support for the World Health Organization. On Tuesday evening, Trump said he would stop the $400 million to $500 million of US funding for the body, pending an investigation into what he saw as its aiding China in "covering up" the novel coronavirus. Following Trump's announcement, Bill Gates tweeted: "Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds."
Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds. Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever. — Bill Gates (@BillGates) April 15, 2020
"COVID-19 doesn't obey border laws," he said in Wednesday's press release. "The world community must understand that so long as COVID-19 is somewhere, we need to act as if it were everywhere. Beating this pandemic will require an unprecedented level of international funding and cooperation." The Gateses aren't the only tech billionaires who have pledged significant amounts of money to help fight the coronavirus. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has announced plans to donate $1 billion toward a relief fund, an amount he says is roughly 28% of his net worth. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have committed $100 million and $25 million, respectively, though the amounts are fractions of their net worth.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid
More like this (3)
Trump's travel ban likely accelerated the spread of the coronavirus in the US, according to Bill Gates
Summary List Placement Microsoft founder Bill Gates said the travel ban implemented by President Trump earlier...Summary List Placement Microsoft founder Bill Gates said the travel ban implemented by President Trump earlier this year may have accelerated the spread of the coronavirus in the US. Speaking to Fox News in an interview that will be aired on Sunday, Gates said that the ban made thousands of people rush back into the country, but a lack of safety measures upon their return caused the virus to continue spreading. "We created this rush, and we didn't have the ability to test or quarantine those people," Gates told "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace. "And so that seeded the disease here. You know, the ban probably accelerated that, the way it was executed." "March saw this incredible explosion — the West Coast coming from China and then the East Coast coming out of Europe, and so, even though we'd seen China and we'd seen Europe, that testing capacity and clear message of how to behave wasn't there," Gates added, according to Fox News. This is not the first time Gates has been critical of the government's handling of the pandemic. In April, the billionaire philanthropist slammed Trump's decision to cut US funding for the World Health Organization. Speaking to Insider's Hilary Brueck, Gates also said that the coronavirus testing system is "worthless" and that it would be the first thing he'd fix if he were in charge. In an interview with CBS News in July, Gates said that "serious mistakes were made" in how the virus was handled, adding that reopenings and mask compliance were two of the main issues. "We actually had criteria for opening up that said you had to have cases declining and we opened up with cases increasing," Gates said, according to CBS News. "We somehow got masks as this politicized thing ... and some like, harbinger of freedom, that just covering your mouth was awful." Read more: Bill Gates: We will have a coronavirus vaccine, but the disease will keep coming back if there's a US 'leadership vacuum' 'The world needs WHO': Bill Gates slammed Trump for halting the $400 million in US funding for the World Health Organization in the middle of a pandemic Bill Gates issued a stark warning for the world: 'As awful as this pandemic is, climate change could be worse' Bill Gates just dropped $43 million on an oceanfront home in California. Here's how he spends his $102 billion fortune, from a luxury-car collection to incredible real estate. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid
Pandemic could result in a ‘lost decade’ for developing countries says co-chair of Bill and Melinda...Pandemic could result in a ‘lost decade’ for developing countries says co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in stark reportThe world’s poorest countries risk a lost decade of development unless leaders move quickly to help them recover from the fallout of Covid-19, Melinda Gates told the Guardian.The co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has committed $350m (£270m) to support the global response to the pandemic, said it was in the hands of the global community to decide the long-term impact. Continue reading...
Bill Gates says the 'final hurdle' to a COVID-19 vaccine will be ensuring that people actually use it
Bill Gates says a "final hurdle" to distributing a COVID-19 vaccine will be ensuring that people...Bill Gates says a "final hurdle" to distributing a COVID-19 vaccine will be ensuring that people decide to take it. Given the urgency of the pandemic, testing vaccine candidates with a wide variety of populations and age groups can prove challenging, Gates said. Still, Gates believes that "a lot" of people will take a vaccine when one becomes available, and believes herd immunity can be achieved if 70% to 80% of people take it. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The final roadblock to distributing a coronavirus vaccine will be ensuring that enough people actually take it, Bill Gates said in a recent interview with CNN. The billionaire philanthropist and cofounder of Microsoft has contributed millions toward coronavirus research. "You'll have a choice of whether you take the vaccine or not," Gates said to CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta in a Coronavirus Town Hall. "So there's that final hurdle." Three-quarters of Americans said they would take a coronavirus vaccine if they were assured it was safe, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll published in May. About 40% of American adults surveyed said they would take if after it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, while 38% said they would take it after extensive peer-reviewed clinical trials. Thirty-eight percent of respondents also said they would wait until much of the public had taken the vaccine before taking it themselves. More than 28,000 people have also joined an organization called 1Day Sooner, which runs human challenge trials to help test vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, according to The Washington Post. There are more than 140 vaccine projects in development, according to The World Health Organization. Although research is moving quickly, there are still many challenges around gathering data to show that a vaccine would work and ramping up the necessary production, as Business Insider's Andrew Dunn has reported. The US Department of Health and Human Services is aiming to deliver 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by January 2021 as part of its broader strategy around the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. The urgency of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed 489,922 people around the globe and infected 9.6 million according to Johns Hopkins University, means it could be challenging for scientists to spend a lot of time trialing vaccines with various age ranges and populations. "It's understandable that because of the urgency of this, the amount of time that you'll be out looking at it is just going to be less," Gates said when asked about the issue of vaccine hesitancy. "And so even for scientists really understanding, 'Ok, were the trial populations accounting for all of these different groups? How low does the age range go? . . . How do you feel about pregnant women in it, what about the elderly? It's a challenge to get that safety database to build up the confidence." Gates and his wife Melinda have contributed $250 million toward developing treatments, testing, and vaccines for COVID-19 through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The funds will also contribute toward coronavirus relief efforts in low and middle-income countries. Overall, Gates believes that "a lot of people" will be willing to take the vaccine and herd immunity could be achieved if between 70% and 80% of people do so. "It really could then exponentially drop the numbers," Gates said. "But we need that for the entire world if we're going to go back and have people taking vacations, international students, international sports events. So it'll take a while until we get this thing finished off on a global basis."SEE ALSO: Apple is re-closing stores in states like Texas that have already reopened. It's a sign the COVID-19 crisis is going to get much worse. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We tested a machine that brews beer at the push of a button