Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates announced recently that he is stepping down from the company’s Board of Directors position to focus more on his foundation in regards to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced on February 5 that $100 million will be donated to expand screening and identification tests for the virus, especially for the people in poorer countries.
Bill Gates will still be in touch with CEO Satya Nadella in assisting him as a Technology Advisor on a regular basis, whilst primarily working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which he co-founded with his wife.
“It’s been a tremendous honor and privilege to have worked with and learned from Bill over the years. Bill founded our company with a belief in the democratizing force of software and a passion to solve society’s most pressing challenges. And Microsoft and the world are better for it. The board has benefited from Bill’s leadership and vision,” shared Satya Nadella.
Although Bill Gates is a multi-billionaires, he was seen queuing up like ordinary person to buy his favorite burgers
The announcement was followed by another announcement revealing the collaboration between Bill’s foundation, Wellcome, a non-profit trust based in London and Mastercard to channel funds for building technologies specialized in identifying, assessing, developing and scaling potential treatment methods for Covid-19.
The initiative, called the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, will be used to evaluate new and re-purposed drugs to treat affected patients in the nearest time as well as provide quicker identification for viral pathogens in coming times.
Gates’ Foundation has been focusing on the current coronavirus outbreak, calling it a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ pandemic and urging society to take the steps needed to slow down its impact.
A concerned Bill Gates said that the pneumonia-like disease which has now infected close to 100,000 people worldwide may be a ‘once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about’. He hopes that it’s not as severe as it appears, however he advised the public to be wary and prepared for what’s to come next.
“First, it can kill healthy adults in addition to elderly people with existing health problems. Second, Covid-19 is transmitted quite efficiently. The average infected person spreads the disease to two or three others — an exponential rate of increase,” Bill shared in The New England Journal of Medicine article.
Due to its unpredictable nature, the Covid-19 virus’ mortality rate can vary anywhere between 0.7% to 4%, depending on the efficiency of the treatment provided. Bill further iterated that world leaders, especially those in well-developed countries should come forward and offer to help those struggling in the less-developed nations.
His statement is backed up with WHO’s data which revealed that low and middle-income countries are not equipped with enough resources to handle a potential outbreak, and could use the aids from bigger countries who have better technologies and systems.