Gates Foundation CEO addresses pandemic politics

Mark Suzman
Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman speaks at a World Economic Forum session. (WEF via YouTube)

Seattle’s Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is in the public health spotlight, thanks to its efforts to head off just the sort of global pandemic we’re now experiencing — but not all the exposure it’s getting is healthy.

In some corners of the online world, the Gates Foundation is painted as a villain, stoking fears and pushing a global vaccination agenda for the sake of “Big Pharma.” Anti-vaccine activists link Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates with the World Health Organization and infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci — and not in a good way.

The conspiracy theories have always been there, but Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman acknowledges that they’re getting added traction now, thanks in part to the COVID-19 crisis.

“We’re aware that there’s allegations made in social media and other [channels] about nefarious schemes the foundation is alleged to be part of,” Suzman told GeekWire today, in connection with an announcement that the foundation is allocating $150 million more to fighting the pandemic.

“All I can say is, one, we’re completely transparent about who we are and what we do,” he said. “We are able to talk about any and every investment and grant we make. We’re very transparent about our mission, our values, and we really have nothing to hide.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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