Bill & Melinda Gates Pledge $100 Million to Coronavirus Response
The coronavirus outbreak has been declared a public health emergency of international concern.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will commit up to $100 million towards efforts to control the current coronavirus outbreak, the organization announced on Wednesday.
This includes the $10 million the foundation has already committed and will go towards various response efforts.
Up to $20 million will go to public health authorities in Africa and South Asia, which the foundation considers to be at high risk due to the high concentrations of people living in extreme poverty there. The foundation noted in its statement that the outbreak of H1N1 influenza (swine flu) in 2009 disproportionately affected people living in extreme poverty.
Low- and middle-income countries tend to be more dramatically affected by pandemics, the Brookings Institute reported in 2017, noting that these countries received vaccines much later than wealthy countries during the swine flu outbreak in 2009.
Other portions of the foundation’s donation will go towards research on vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics for the virus, as well as towards improving efforts to detect, isolate, and treat people infected with the virus.
This strain of coronavirus, which has been given the scientific moniker 2019-nCoV, was first discovered in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization declared the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency on Jan. 30.
Worldwide, there have been 28,275 confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus infections, and 565 deaths, according to CNN. Over 28,000 of these cases, and all but two of the deaths, have been in China.
Disclosure: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a funding partner of Global Citizen.
Editor's note: This piece has been updated to include a disclosure that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a funding partner of Global Citizen. We regret the oversight.