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Does Bill Gates Really Has Influence Over the Coronavirus?

The leader of the technology sector, founder of Microsoft, pointed out that humanity is still in great danger due to the coronavirus and how it is necessary to take preventive measures.

Bill Gates

Photo: TW-BillGates

LatinAmerican Post | María Fernanda Ramírez Ramos

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Leer en español: Bill Gates y el coronavirus ¿Cuál es realmente su influencia?

Despite the lifting of restrictions and biosecurity measures, such as the mandatory use of masks, the coronavirus crisis is not over yet. It is not only about the cases and deaths that the virus still leaves, but about the future challenges posed by the management of this disease. Likewise, it has fueled social and economic crises. In this regard, Bill Gates, founder of the Microsoft technology company and philanthropist, has said that this is not the time to lower our guard. However, Bill Gates and the coronavirus have a closer history.

The tycoon told the Financial Times that there is still a risk of a new, more fatal variant emerging. In fact, he assured that there is about a 5% chance that we had not yet seen the worst. He insisted on the urgent need to generate more durable vaccines that prevent the development of the disease. In fact, this has been one of the flags of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of the main lines of this organization is the commitment to the development and surveillance of vaccines.

In this regard, said foundation made a donation of 150 million dollars to the Coalition for Innovations in Preparedness for Epidemics CEPI, to work on the future of the coronavirus. It has also played an important role for the COVAX mechanism, which has made it possible to bring vaccines to low- and middle-income countries. In addition, it also contributes to the fight against diarrheal diseases, HIV and polio, among others. Likewise, the Gates Foundation has made alliances with entities such as UNHCR and research centers from different parts of the world.

On the other hand, Gates launched a book on Tuesday entitled "How to prevent the next pandemic", in which he shares information from various experts and recounts his experience at the Gates Foundation. According to Penguin Random House's review, "It shows us how the nations of the world, working together and with the private sector, can not only prevent another COVID-like catastrophe, but also eliminate all respiratory diseases, including the flu".

More money is needed

The tycoon has also been very critical of the financing that States allocate to international cooperation and health issues. He assured that it is essential that there is an international consensus to increase funding for the World Health Organization because it is insufficient to face the real challenges that have remained and that will come. In relation, he estimated that about 1,000 million dollars a year would be needed.

"Global institutions can take on new responsibilities in an excellent way, even in a period of time when relations between the United States and China are difficult, and between the United States and Russia extremely difficult," he told the Financial Times. This last statement puts on the table the question about the role of businessmen in world-class decision-making and their contribution to social projects . Gates has promoted " The Giving Pledge" project, which seeks to get more millionaires to commit to philanthropic causes.

Also read: Details of the Visit of the European Commissioner for the Environment to Latin America

Without a doubt, the private sector is becoming increasingly important in international relations. States have been ceding part of their power to supra-state institutions. Likewise, market dynamics are a priority when making decisions. Furthermore, with globalization, multinationals have enormous power, which also poses challenges for human rights and regulations, as does the privatization of certain services, such as security.

This has made personalities such as Bill and Melinda Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg or Jeff Bezos and their decisions fundamental to the destinies of the planet. In fact, some tycoons today have significant funds reserved for the environment, education or health. However, these donations are still problematic, compared to other issues such as their real commitment to protecting the environment in their companies, respect for workers, handling of user data or exploitation of natural resources.