Bill Gates Praises China's Coronavirus Handling: Beijing 'Did a Lot of Things Right'
Microsoft co-founder attack America's response to global pandemic during CNN interview
Liberal billionaire Bill Gates has praised China's handling of the coronavirus pandemic during a Sunday interview, claiming the Communist regime “did a lot of things right at the beginning.”
During he same CNN interview, Gates, the second richest man in the world, attacked America's response to the outbreak of COVID-19 that originated in Wuhan.
Speaking with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria via video call, Gates was asked:
“How would you respond to the charge that the Chinese covered this up, they essentially deceived the rest of the world, and as a result, they should be held in some way responsible for this?”
“Well, I don’t think that’s a timely thing because it doesn’t affect how we act today,” Gates claimed.
“China did a lot of things right at the beginning. Like any country where a virus first shows up, they can look back and see where they missed some things.”
Gates then slammed the American response, claiming the US Government acted "particularly poorly" compared to other countries that have minimized the economic damage.
"You know, some countries did respond very quickly and get their testing in place, and they avoided the incredible economic pain," he said.
"It’s sad that even the US that you would have expected to do this well did it particularly poorly.
"But it’s not time to talk about that."
Bill Gates claims that criticisms of how China lied and covered up the coronavirus is a “distraction”: “China did a lot of things right at the beginning … they avoided the incredible economic pain … I think there’s a lot of incorrect and unfair things said”— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 26, 2020
This is all a lie pic.twitter.com/RlbwV0fUcA
"This is the time to take the great science we have, the fact we’re in this together, fixed testing, treatments, and get that vaccine, and minimize the trillions of dollars and many things you that you can’t even dimensionalize, in economic terms, that are awful about the situation we’re in," Gates continued.
"So, that’s a distraction.
"I think there’s a lot of incorrect and unfair things said, but it’s not even time for that discussion."
Unnamed US officials said earlier this month that intelligence agencies were investigating whether coronavirus emerged from a lab in Wuhan.
While the American government has ruled out the conspiracy theory that coronavirus was unleashed by China as a bioweapon, some officials have speculated that the pathogen may have been allowed to escape from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Gates on Sunday also defended the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations-run agency that has been accused of aiding China in a cover-up of the outbreak.
He called the WHO "phenomenal" and said that the US is highly dependent on it.
"In the retrospective, we’ll see things that WHO could have done better, just like every actor in this whole picture," he said.
"But the WHO has a strong connection with one country.
"That country is the United States.
"The number of CDC people who are there, people who used to work for the CDC, there’s no UN agency more connected to a country than WHO is to CDC."
Since stepping down as CEO of Microsoft in 2008, Gates has shifted his focus to philanthropy.
He and his wife together run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Melinda Gates this month slammed Trump's decision to halt funding to the WHO.
Announcing an extra $150million of funding from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help speed the development of treatments, vaccines, and public health measures to tackle the new coronavirus outbreak, Melinda Gates said the WHO was "exactly the organization that can deal with this pandemic."
"De-funding the WHO makes absolutely no sense during a pandemic," Melinda Gates told Reuters.
"We need a global coordinated response.
"When you’re in a crisis like this, it’s all hands on deck."
The Gates Foundation is the second-largest donor to the WHO behind the United States.
Melinda Gates said earlier that cutting WHO funding in a health crisis was "as dangerous as it sounds."
The WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he regretted Trump’s decision.
He said the organization was still assessing the impact and would 'try to fill any gaps with partners.'
Petition Calling for WHO Chief to Resign Surpasses 1 Million Signatures— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) April 25, 2020
READ MORE: https://t.co/0IRIrKH8US
The philanthropic Gates Foundation’s new $150million commitment brings its COVID-19 funding for the international response to date to $250million, but Gates said any gap left in the WHO’s funding would be very hard for others to fill.
"We really as a global community need to address what is now just beginning in African and South Asian countries," she said.
"We see a huge need, and that’s why we have more than doubled our commitment."
There are currently no effective vaccines, drugs, or other immune system treatments approved to treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The $150 million of extra funding adds to an initial $100 million from the Gates Foundation designed to kick-start scientific and public health projects.
Gates said the Foundation is backing eight projects seeking potential solutions for COVID-19 vaccine development and has co-funded enhanced virus detection capacity in Africa as well as contributing to the response in China.