Billionaire Bill Gates’s foundation will focus all of its resources on fighting the coronavirus, Financial Times reported.
Speaking to an interview, Founder of Microsoft Corp. Bill Gates said that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with an endowment exceeding $40 billion, will give total attention to the pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 and is roiling economies globally.
“You’re going to have economies with greatly reduced activity levels for years,” Gates said.
The pandemic could cost the global economy ‘tens of trillions of dollars,’ he added.
The foundation has contributed $250 million to help counter the coronavirus and is re-purposing units dedicated to fighting other diseases to join in the battle against the pandemic.
“We’ve taken an organization that was focused on HIV and malaria and polio eradication, and almost entirely shifted it to work on this,” he told.
Bill 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,” Microsoft founder said.
He said he doesn’t believe Trump will follow through on his threat to withdraw funding for the WHO.
Earlier, head of the Top Russian research center informed the President Vladimir Putin that experimental coronavirus vaccines will be tried on humans in June in his lab.
Head of the Vektor State Virology and Biotechnology Centre Rinat Maksyutov informed that the first phase of clinical trials of three vaccines will be carried out on 180 volunteers from June 29.
Rinat Maksyutov spoke to Putin and the heads of top research centers during a conference call meeting.
He said, “Groups of volunteers have already been formed,” “We have already received more than 300 applications.”
He also said that many prototype vaccines had been developed by the top-secret lab complex situated in Koltsovo outside the Siberian city of Novosibirsk.
He further informed that the experiments are currently being conducted on mice, rabbits, and other animals to examine the most effective by April 30.