[imagesource: Jeff Pachoud/AFP]
There’s nothing quite like a pandemic to highlight the extreme wealth inequality that permeates societies around the world.
Both developed and developing countries have had to come to terms with how they’re structured, who holds the wealth, and who suffers when the economy takes a dive.
Jeff Bezos has come under fire for putting personal gain and the gains of his company ahead of the health and safety of his workers.
Other billionaires have retreated into the shadows to avoid having to part with their money.
Then there’s Bill Gates, who from the get-go has dedicated his cash, resources, and mind to combatting COVID-19.
He has been a voice of reason in America, when there appeared to be few others to inject sanity into the situation, and he continues to work towards a vaccine.
The philanthropist and founder of Microsoft Corp. said that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with an endowment exceeding $40 billion, will give “total attention” to the pandemic..
Gates has shifted the focus of the organisation that focused on HIV and malaria and polio eradication, towards COVID-19 research.
Gates also defended the World Health Organization against accusations from U.S. President Donald Trump that the body had mishandled the virus response.
“WHO is clearly very, very important and should actually get extra support to perform their role during this epidemic,” Gates said. He said he doesn’t believe Trump will follow through on his threat to withdraw funding for the WHO.
It’s a little ironic that President Disinfectant Injection thinks that the WHO is mismanaging the situation.
Gates also spoke to CNN about the economy, and efforts to create a vaccine:
Gates cautions against putting a deadline on when a vaccine will be ready. The complex nature of the coronavirus means that it’s trickier to isolate and counteract.
He says that if everything goes “perfectly” they could be manufacturing vaccines within a year, but notes that it could take up to two years, if not longer.
In that sense, physical distancing and hygiene protocols are still our first defence against COVID-19.
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