The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation "will end up spending a lot more" than the $ 305 million it has pledged to fight the COVID-19 pandemic Bill Gates tells the Wall Street Journal in a newly published interview.
Gates, who had warned about the possible effects of such a disease for years, also said in the interview that he wished he had "done more to raise awareness of the danger."
The Wall Street Journal reports that Gates spoke to the US presidential candidate in 2016 about the risks of a pandemic and raised the issue in a meeting with then-elected President Donald Trump in December 2016.
In an interview with NBC last week, Melinda Gates described the US response to the pandemic as "chaos" at the national level.
The Seattle-based foundation's COVID-19 funds flow into therapeutics, vaccines and tests, with a particular focus on the Seattle region and unmet needs in developing countries.
In a contribution on Tuesday, the Microsoft co-founder discussed early results of an initiative he personally financed, the Seattle Corona Virus Assessment Network, or SCAN, a disease monitoring program that has used home test kits for COVID-19 in the Seattle region.
"This will not only help improve our understanding of the Seattle outbreak, it will also provide valuable information about the virus to other communities around the world," he wrote. He added: “SCAN does not replace the widespread tests that are still needed in communities. But it has the potential to become an important tool for health officials looking for insight into the spread and behavior of the virus. "