Bill Gates: ‘Impossible to overstate the pain’ people will feel for years ahead due to coronavirus

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates this week warned that it is “impossible to overstate the pain” people will feel for years to come as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gates wrote in a Thursday memo that he and his wife, Melinda, grew up learning that World War II was the defining moment of their parents’ generation.

“In a similar way, the COVID-19 pandemic — the first modern pandemic — will define this era,” Gates wrote. “No one who lives through ‘Pandemic I’ will ever forget it. And it is impossible to overstate the pain that people are feeling now and will continue to feel for years to come.”

The couple earlier this month announced that their private foundation will put an additional $150 million toward coronavirus relief efforts around the world, building on their previous commitment of $100 million. 

The Gates Foundation has previously put resources into reducing deaths from infectious diseases in poor countries around the world and invested in treatments and vaccines for HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, polio and pneumonia.

“These diseases are the reason why a child in a poor country is 20 times more likely to die before the age of five than one in a rich country,” Gates wrote.

Gates added that the coronavirus and the economic impacts of shutdowns around the world are impacting poor communities and racial minorities the most, urging policymakers to take that into consideration so “recovery doesn’t make inequality even worse than it already is.”

But the philanthropist praised the impressive level of cooperation around the world amid the outbreak.

“And there are so many heroes to admire right now, including the health workers on the front line. When the world eventually declares Pandemic I over, we will have all of them to thank for it,” he added.

Gates has been vocal about the administration’s response to the pandemic, calling President Trump’s decision to halt funding for the World Health Organization during the global coronavirus pandemic “as dangerous as it sounds.”

The billionaire has since become a top target of coronavirus conspiracy theories and misinformation online.

Tags Bill Gates Bill Gates Coronavirus Donald Trump Gates Foundation Melinda Gates Microsoft Pandemic The Gates Foundation World Health Organization

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