Policy Update

Bill and Melinda Gates criticize US' lack of leadership on COVID-19 response

Speaking before a group of over 200 philanthropists, both Bill and Melinda Gates criticized the US' global response to COVID-19. In particular, they called out the US for its decision to withdraw funding from the World Health Organization (WHO) and for stepping away from its traditional leadership role in helping to find global solutions to the world's largest problems.

One of their chief concerns was ensuring that after a COVID-19 vaccine is developed it does not go to the highest-bidder countries. They emphasized the importance of ensuring that any newly developed vaccine goes first to those most in need, including health care workers and vulnerable populations. 

It is estimated that the world will need 10 billion doses to innoculate 80% of the world's population through a two-shot vaccine. The Gates Foundation will work with both the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to try to ensure equitable distribution of any vaccine.

News article - Forbes