Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently announced the possible large scale production of Covid-19 vaccine by next year, adding to his long list of philanthropic works.
Crux of the Matter
Covid-19 Vaccine And Aid
Bill Gates recently announced that 200 million Covid-19 vaccine kits could be made by June 2021 by the SK Bioscience of South Korea. In May, Gates had donated $3.6 million to SK Bioscience to “accelerate” the vaccine development.
Gates funded the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) in May, which is a disease surveillance programme collecting data like age, gender, previous medical conditions, etc. to monitor the spread. In May, Gates donated $50 million to Therapeutics Accelerator to accelerate the development of drugs against Covid-19, and another $50 million to the worldwide vaccine alliance Gavi.
- Bill Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO in 2000 and was replaced by Steve Ballmer. Gates also left the Microsoft board in March 2020.
- Gates has donated $45.5 billion to charity since 1994.
- In 2000, the ‘Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’ was formed through the merger of the ‘William H. Gates Foundation’ and the ‘Gates Library Foundation’. The aim of the foundation is to reduce global poverty, improve healthcare, and provide education opportunities.
- 2010: Gates launched the ‘Giving Pledge’ to invite billionaires to donate more than 50% of wealth to charitable causes.
- 2014: Gates donated more than $50 million to fight the Ebola outbreak in Africa.
- 2018: Gates promised the donation of $1 billion by 2023 to counter malaria, and has committed $2.9 billion to fight malaria to date.
Inheritance Of His Wealth
Bill Gates has been engaged in philanthropy since the 1990s. He has declared that his 3 children would receive $10 million each in inheritance. With a total net worth of $113 billion (as of July 2020), more than 99.9% of his wealth would be donated to charity, with less than 0.1% being received by his children in inheritance.
Controversies Around Gates
More than 600k signatures have been reached for a petition against Bill Gates, which accuses him of ‘medical malpractice’.
First such claims emerged in April, claiming that through the SCAN and other testing, Gates was attempting to plant “chips” inside human beings.
In the petition filed, Gates’s recent TED talk was taken out of context to suggest that he wants to use vaccination to reduce the population by “10-15%”. In reality, Gates has claimed at several places that parents have several children only if they know that most of them would die due to poor health. Consequently, reduced child mortality due to vaccination would make parents naturally reduce their family size.
- Pirates of Silicon Valley is an original 1999 American made for television biographical drama film. It explores the impact that the rivalry between Jobs and Gates had on the development of the personal computer.
- “Anti-vax” is a reluctance or refusal to be vaccinated or to have one’s children vaccinated against contagious diseases despite the availability of vaccination services. It is identified by the World Health Organization as one of the top ten global health threats of 2019.
- In 2019, Melinda Gates debuted as an author with the book The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World. The book highlights the failure to acknowledge women’s unpaid work, drawing on feminist economist Dame Marilyn Waring’s book If Women Counted.
- The Indian Express – Korean firm could make 200 million Covid vaccines by June: Bill Gates
- CNBC – 7 billionaires who won’t leave their fortunes to their kids
- Business Insider – Bill Gates is funding a new at-home COVID-19 testing programme and it’s already testing 300 people a day
- Philanthropy News Digest – Gates Foundation Commits $50 Million to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance
- Forbes – #2 Bill Gates
- Snopes – Did Bill Gates ‘Admit’ Vaccinations Are Designed So Governments Can ‘Depopulate’ the World?