Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have now invested multiple hundreds of millions of dollars to COVID-19 research and testing, including their foundation’s recent $70-million pledge, which is set to ensure that anti-coronavirus vaccine is available to “everyone”.
Outspoken American philanthropist and billionaire Bill Gates re-appeared on Trevor Noah’s ‘The Daily Show’ this week to discuss the spike in COVID-19 cases in the US and slam conspiracy theories regarding his motivation for the development and distribution of anti-virus vaccines.
“There’s always been a small group of anti-vaccination people, and we see this with the measles vaccine. They’ve now got a platform, and they’ve joined forces with some political-conspiracy dudes,’’ Gates said, when asked by Noah about some circulating claims suggesting that the businessman’s family could be using vaccines as a pretext to control the population with microchips or even to change their DNA.
Some even earlier suggested that Gates could be one of the actual “creators” of the virus.
“And it’s so easy to click on, particularly when a simple explanation for this pandemic—that there is somebody evil behind it—is somehow easier than the true biology, which is actually kind of complicated,” Microsoft’s co-founder added. “So we have to make the truth more interesting. We’ve got to label things with the truth.”
“Sadly, the naïveté about how to make social media work well is pretty strong, and that’s coincided with the election and the epidemic,” Gates continued. “I wish I had the answer but its out there in big, big numbers—and it just keeps growing.”
As COVID-19 deaths and daily cases are on the rise in the United States, Gates believes that the upcoming Christmas season may appear to be rather tough.
“With the winter, when we’re colder, the virus multiplies more when we’re indoors more, so that’s not a good thing. And then there’s a certain fatigue—some of the things people have to do, in terms of staying away from friends, that’s tougher,” the business magnate explained.
While cheering on the news that Pfizer’s upcoming vaccine is said to have 90% effectiveness, Gates still elaborated that “for the next six to eight months, the news [will be] mostly bad.”
“After that, the volume of the vaccine will have kicked in, and there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” he concluded.
Big Investments in COVID Research Efforts
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced last week that they would commit an additional $70 million to battle coronavirus disease and “ensure that everyone gets equal access to tests, drugs, and vaccines when they are available”. The money is said to be distributed between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the COVAX Advance Market Commitment group, an arm of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Back in August, they already pledged $150 million to accelerate the manufacturing and delivery of up to 100 million doses of vaccine to low- and middle-income countries in 2021, in addition to millions in personal funds already devoted to similar efforts.
Bill Gates was dubbed an alarmist by many for calling upon the US government to strengthen efforts in preparation for COVID-19 spread seven months ago. Back in 2015, the philanthropist, who has donated millions to child nutrition efforts in Africa, said during a TED Talk appearance that the world was not ready for the next big pandemic outbreak.