The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was launched in 2000 and says it is committed to solving the world’s inequities.
“We work together with businesses, government, and nonprofits, and each partner plays a specific role in accelerating progress,” the foundation’s website says.
“Our mission is to create a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life,” it continues.
Responding to the Covid Pandemic
Fighting disease throughout the world has been a big part of that mission, so when the foundation became aware of the emergence of Covid in January 2020, it sprung into action.
“In the years that followed, we supported governments in the Global South and other partners to develop vaccines and diagnostics, expand supply chains and delivery systems for drugs and diagnostics, and help get vaccines into arms — all at an unprecedented pace,” it writes.
“We also advocated relentlessly for equity in the world’s response. That initial $5 million toward addressing COVID-19 became $100 million by February 5, 2020, and $250 million by April 15, 2020. All told, our foundation has committed more than $2 billion to address the pandemic.”
Gates has taken time on a number of occasions since then to review and critique the global response.
Gates Says No Country Got it Totally Right
In remarks Jan. 23 at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, Gates spoke about the global response to the pandemic, talking about some specific countries.
“I wouldn’t say any country got it totally right,” he said. “Australia and about seven other countries did population-scale diagnostics early on, and had quarantine policies associated with that that meant that, in that first year when there were no vaccines, hospitals could have gotten overloaded like they did in many countries. You kept the level of infection low.”
“So at the end of the day,” he told the audience, “The Australian death rate per capita will be about 12% of most rich countries, including the United States.”