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‘Ultimate global crisis’ tests US-China relations

Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman
Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman discusses the coronavirus pandemic from his home study during a virtual event for GeekWire members. (GeekWire via Zoom)

The CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is disappointed that the United States isn’t on the same page with other nations when it comes to fighting the coronavirus pandemic, but he says it’s still possible to present a united front in dealing with what he calls “the ultimate global crisis.”

Mark Suzman, who stepped into the foundation’s top executive role in February just as the pandemic was ramping up, points to a high-profile conference held this week as an example. Leaders and luminaries from Europe, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the world pledged $8 billion to help the World Health Organization fight COVID-19.

“Unfortunately, the United States did not participate in that event,” Suzman said today during a live virtual event for GeekWire members. “But the United States is putting a lot of resources, obviously, into the COVID vaccine. Our hope is, at a minimum, can we make these investments complementary to each other, so you don’t have any duplicative races that are wasting resources.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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