- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is now turning nearly all its attention to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Priorities include quickening the development of tests, treatments and vaccines.
- Global coronavirus cases have surpassed the 3-million mark.
The globe’s wealthiest charity, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will shift nearly all its focus to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consequently, programs targeting the eradication of HIV, malaria, and polio will suffer, Bill Gates told Financial Times in a recent interview.
Currently, there are more than 3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus. Less than a million people have recovered since the pandemic started. The number of deaths now stands at over 200,000.
The decision by the charity was applauded by former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb and WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghereyesus.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will partner with the private sector under the WHO’s guidance to develop COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
Early next month, the charity alongside its partners will convene a pledging conference, where they aim to raise $8 billion for the COVID-19 fight.
Sub-Saharan Africa to suffer the most
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation channels half of its resources to projects in Africa. The charity’s efforts, which mostly involve disease prevention, treatment, and disease, will now be severely hampered.
We’ve taken an organization that was focused on HIV and malaria and polio eradication, and almost entirely shifted it to work on this.
Clinical trials for a new AIDS treatment are among the programs that are likely to be put on hold. Additionally, polio eradication and measles vaccination campaigns will suffer.
Global economy will take a significant hit from coronavirus
Winning the fight against COVID-19 could be the best antidote for a severely affected global economy.
According to Gates, the global economy will contract in the range of “tens of trillions of dollars.” Even worse, the Microsoft co-founder expects the reduced economic activity levels to last for years.
Already, the International Monetary Fund expects the global economy to contract by 3% in 2020.
The IMF forecasts the U.S. economy to shrink by around 5% this year. China, where the novel coronavirus originated, is expected to grow at its slowest pace in decades.
Despite his contribution to fighting the coronavirus pandemic, Bill Gates hasn’t won the approval of everyone. The billionaire philanthropist has become a target of conspiracy theories, with some even linking him to the origins of the novel coronavirus.