Gates Foundation Pledges $100 Million to Combat Coronavirus
Bill and Melinda Gates from the Gates Foundation have pledged to dedicate up to $100 million towards efforts to fight back against the coronavirus outbreak. The pledge includes $20 million that will be used immediately in helping to detect, isolate, and treat the deadly virus so that its spread may be contained.
The dedicated funds will be allocated to organizations that are heavily involved in the efforts to contain the coronavirus, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. “Our hope is that these resources will help catalyze a rapid and effective international response,” Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said in a statement. “This response should be guided by science, not fear, and it should build on the steps that the World Health Organization has taken to date.”
The World Health Organization has already requested $675 million in funding from various world governments and institutions so that it may efficiently conduct its operations in addressing the spread of the virus.
$60 million of the donation will go towards research institutions who are working to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus. An influx of funding will be needed to expedite the process, though the development of a vaccine will be the best way to prevent further deaths if the disease continues to spread.
Another $20 million will go to health officials in developing nations in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Countries in this region do not have robust health infrastructures in place that are capable of dealing with a potential pandemic. The funding will be used to assist officials in treating confirmed cases, strengthening emergency centers, and improve infection surveillance.
The donation marks the largest yet in the developing efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreaks. Other donations include Chinese businessman, Jack Ma who pledged $14.4 million and telecom CEO Lei Jun donating $1.8 million to assist relief efforts in Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak.