GATES FOUNDATION AND COVID-19

Bill Gates says his charity is giving the coronavirus pandemic its “total attention.” The 67-year-old billionaire Microsoft cofounder, who has been a vocal advocate of coronavirus preparedness and research, spoke in an interview with the Financial Times on Sunday about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation shifting its priorities. “This has the foundation’s total attention,” he told the publication. “Even our non-health-related work, like higher education and K-12, is completely switched around to look at how you facilitate online learning.” A representative for the charity told The Verge that the foundation “remains committed to its core areas of focus including reducing infectious disease, eliminating extreme poverty, and improving US public education.” “The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all areas of our work and the ripple effects will be felt for years to come,” the foundation added. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has an endowment of $46.8 billion. Gates has been warning about the risk of a pandemic for years, saying a global health crisis could wipe out 30 million people in less than a year. He told the Financial Times earlier this month that COVID-19 was the “biggest event that people will experience in their entire lives” and that a viral outbreak similar to this one could happen “every 20 years or so.” His foundation, which has committed billions of dollars to the research of other infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, has already pledged over $250 million in response to COVID-19. According to the foundation, the funds are being used to help poor communities prepare for the virus and are helping accelerate the detection and containment of the virus. (Coutesy:Business Insider.com)


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