By Michele Greenstein and Jeremy Loffredo
Behind a veil of corporate media PR, the Gates Foundation has served as a vehicle for Western capital while exploiting the Global South as a human laboratory. The coronavirus pandemic is likely to intensify this disturbing agenda.
President Donald Trump’s announcement this July of a U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) set into motion a process that will have a dramatic impact on the future of global public health policy – and on the fortunes of one of the world’s richest people.
The US abandonment of the WHO means that the organization’s second-largest financial contributor, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is soon to become its top donor, giving the non-governmental international empire unparalleled influence over one the world’s most important multilateral organizations.
Bill Gates has achieved a hero-like status during the pandemic. The Washington Post has called him a “champion of science-backed solutions,” while the New York Times recently hailed him as “the most interesting man in the world.” Gates is also the star of a hit Netflix docu-series, “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak,” which was released just weeks before coronavirus hit the U.S., and was produced by a New York Times correspondent, Sheri Fink, who previously worked at three Gates-funded organizations (Pro Publica, the New America Foundation, and the International Medical Corps).
The tidal wave of mainstream media praise for Gates during the Covid-19 era has meant that scrutiny of the billionaire and his machinations is increasingly prevalent on the far–right of the political spectrum, where it can be dismissed by progressives as the conspiratorial ravings of Trumpists and Q-Anon quacks.
But beyond the public relations bonanza about Gates lies a disturbing history that should raise concerns about whether his foundation’s plans for resolving the pandemic will benefit the global public as much as it expands and entrenches its power over international institutions.