Microsoft founder, billionaire, and philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates were speaking at the ninth annual Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy that was held virtually for the first time in history. In his speech, Bill Gates harshly criticized the U.S. and President Donald Trump for its response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the country has created a sort of a “vacuum” in solving the global problem by its refusal to work with other countries. He noted that the U.S. had been more concerned with ‘trying to cast blame’ for the spread of the virus to China instead of collaborating with other countries to eradicate it. According to Mr. Gates, “rationally will reappear from someone”, and the U.S. will rejoin the World Health Organization, following Donald Trump’s withdrawing earlier this year.
Melinda Gates supported her husband’s opinion, and she added that when a vaccine is available, black Americans should be among the first to receive it.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to global health causes, and they donated more than $300 million to the search for a coronavirus vaccine.
Mrs. Melinda explained that one of the reasons they’re doing it is that they don’t want the first vaccines to go to the highest-bidding countries.
“There are 60 million healthcare workers [around the world]. They deserve to get the vaccine first, they’re the ones dealing with this on the front lines, trying to keep us all safe. And then you have to start to tier from there, based on the countries and the populations.
Here in the United States, it’s going to be black people who really should get it first and many indigenous people, as well as people with underlying symptoms, and then elderly people.” – she added.
Mr. Bill said that they’re trying to stitch different country efforts together, and the European leaders are trying to fill that vacuum.
The couple noted that even though they understand that the WHO is “not even close to perfect”, they’ve decided to throw their support behind the organization because it was set up to deal with things like this pandemic.
You can watch the speech for yourself below: