Microsoft founder Bill Gates said on Saturday that drugs and a future vaccine to treat COVID-19 should go where they are most needed, not just “the highest bidder.” Reuters reported.
“If we just let drugs and vaccines go to the highest bidder, instead of the people and places where they are most needed, we will have a longer, more unjust, more deadly pandemic,” Gates said (at a distance) during a COVID -19 conference. “We need leaders to make these tough decisions about equity-based distribution, not just market-driven ones.”
The World Health Organization said July 6 there were 21 candidate vaccines in clinical studies tested on human volunteers. Public health experts have warned against “vaccine nationalism” – Where countries compete to get a potential vaccine first – which they predict will have serious consequences for both public health and the global economy.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made a total promise of $ 250 million for research into COVID-19, “to support the development of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines … and to mitigate the social and economic effects of the virus.”
Gates stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in 2000 left his full-time role at Microsoft in 2008 to focus on foundation work. In 2015, he warned during a TED Talk that the world was not ready for a global pandemic.