On May 7, former Microsoft general manager Melinda Gates discussed how the U.S. should be combatting COVID-19. Read her thoughts and five things you should know about her.
Melinda Gates is not satisfied with how President Donald Trump‘s administration has treated the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, May 7, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave the Trump administration a D- for their leadership during the ongoing outbreak. The former Microsoft general manager, 55, also shared with Politico, “We need leadership at the national level. We lost two months almost now in terms of our national response.” Gates insisted that one of the biggest issues facing America right now is the lack of testing. “You know, if we were doing the things that the exemplar countries are doing, like Germany, we would be testing. We would be testing, first, health care workers and then the most vulnerable, and you’d be doing contact tracing,” she said.
“And we would be able to start thinking about slowly, slowly reopening places in society in safe and healthy ways, but we have a lack of a coordinated effort.” As a major donor to the World Health Organization, Melinda Gates is quickly becoming one of strongest voices from the Trump administration opposition. Already, her foundation has donated millions of dollars to combat the ongoing pandemic, making her and her equally famous husband, two of the biggest financial donors in the fight against COVID-19. Here are five things you need to know about her.
1) She’s married to Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Melinda met Bill Gates, 64, in 1987. The pair dated four seven years before tying the knot in beautiful Lanai, HI in 1994. The couple share three children, two daughters and a son — Jennifer, 24, Phoebe, 17, and Rory Gates, 20.
2) Together, the couple created the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Six years after their wedding, Bill and Melinda founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. The organization has donated billions of dollars to health research during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In February, the foundation donated $100 million to health care research as the outbreak in the United States grew more serious. In April, they donated another $150 million in testing aid, treatment, and helping impoverished countries create a plan of sustainability during this uncertain time. As of the publishing of this article, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the second-largest donor to the World Health Organization.
3) Melinda is an incredible supporter of women in tech. After her experience as the general manager of Microsoft, Melinda became a passionate supporter of women pursuing a career in technology, and encouraged young girls who had an interest in the field to follow suit. “Every company needs technology, and yet we’re graduating fewer women technologists. That is not good for society. We have to change it,” she shared in a 2016 interview. Melinda has put her focus on education and programming to combat the issue.
4) She’s received high honors for her work. In 2013, Melinda Gates was appointed an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her philanthropy and work on the international stage. In 2016, President Barack Obama also awarded her and her husband the Presidential Medal of Freedom for their philanthropic efforts.
5) Melinda is an author. In 2019, Melinda published her first book The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World. The book is a New York Times bestseller. Her work focused on a span of issues from child marriage, to the lack of access to contraceptives, and inequity in the work place.