With their private foundation, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates contributed millions of dollars over the past two decades for the empowerment of health care in education in African countries. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is also known for making voluntary donations to International organizations that will be used for the betterment of facilities in poor countries. On Wednesday, they announced a contribution of an additional $150 million to the World Health Organization to fight the coronavirus pandemic. This contribution is excess to the already pledged $100 million, taking the total to $250 million. Interestingly, the announcement from Bill Gates comes after President Trump vowed to halt the fundings to WHO due to their Chinese bias.
Mark Suzman, CEO of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in a statement, "This is a unique situation and we are in a unique position to help. With the formation of the organization in 200, it does feel that the investments we have made, the expertise we have built, and the experience we have gained over the last two decades have prepared us to face a pandemic moment like this." The $250 million pledged for the organization is intended to support the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines that will help strengthen African and South Asian health systems. The contribution will also be useful to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the virus.
Trump administration's order to freeze the funding of WHO for 60 days is the reason behind Bill Gates' sudden escalation of the announcement. Trump's decision has attracted a lot of criticism from the medical community and condemnations from international leaders. In a tweet, Bill Gates took a direct dig at President Trump for halting the funding. He wrote - "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
After the tweet from Gates went viral, Senator Lindsey Graham took it on himself to support the decision of the White House. In a statement, Lindsey wrote - "I have a lot of respect for Bill Gates and his work in the public health domain. However, Gates' decision to defend the performance of the WHO and their leadership during the pandemic ignores the overwhelming evidence of China's bias & incompetence."
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