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Bill Gates' Foundation Increases Coronavirus Funding To $250M, Criticizes WHO Funding Cut

Bill Gates' Foundation Increases Coronavirus Funding To $250M, Criticizes WHO Funding Cut

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday announced it is dedicating another $150 million in funding for the global efforts against novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

What Happened

The funding is on top of the $100 million the foundation had committed back in February as the coronavirus outbreak started to emerge in countries outside of China.

The organization, founded by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates, said the money will fund the development of vaccines and diagnostics, as well as fund its partners in South Asian and African countries to improve their efforts in the fight against the coronavirus.

Bill Gates Calls For International Efforts

In a statement, Bill Gates said that governments should focus on not just eliminating the coronavirus from their borders but globally.

"COVID-19 doesn't obey border laws," he said. "The world community must understand that so long as COVID-19 is somewhere, we need to act as if it were everywhere. Beating this pandemic will require an unprecedented level of international funding and cooperation," he added.

The technology veteran also pointed out that the coronavirus efforts can't be funded by just one individual or organization.

Melinda Gates Criticizes WHO Funding Cut

Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates, while announcing the latest funding, criticized President Donald Trump for cutting the United States funding to the World Health Organization.

"De-funding the WHO makes absolutely no sense during a pandemic. We need a global coordinated response," Melinda Gates told Reuters in a telephonic interview.

"When you're in a crisis like this, it's all hands on deck."

Gates further added to Reuters that the WHO is "exactly the organization that can deal with this pandemic," and cutting its funding during a health crisis is "as dangerous as it sounds."

The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 2 million people worldwide, at least 137,020 have been confirmed dead, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Price Action

Microsoft's shares closed 1% lower at $171.88 in the regular session on Wednesday. The shares traded about 0.6% lower in the after-hours session at $170.88.


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