Bill Gates told President Donald Trump and Congressional leaders this week that proposed cuts in U.S. foreign aid and funding to global health programs “could put millions of lives at risk,” according to a statement issued Tuesday evening by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Here’s the full statement from the Gates Foundation:
“While in Washington, D.C., Bill Gates met with the President, members of the administration and congressional leadership. During these discussions, Gates highlighted the importance of foreign aid, noting that U.S. foreign investments have been vital in bringing about an unprecedented era of progress against poverty and disease. Foreign aid protects Americans, strengthens markets and saves lives. It’s one of the best returns on investment in government, and leads to a more stable and safe world. He emphasized in particular the potential impact of spending cuts to programs where the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partners directly with the U.S. Government including the PEPFAR anti-AIDS program; the Global Fund to Fight HIV, TB and Malaria; and GAVI, the vaccine alliance. Cuts to these high-value, high-impact programs could put millions of lives at risk. Gates also raised the importance of expanding access to economic opportunity and education here at home.”
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partners with the U.S. Government, governments around the world, partners and other institutions to find innovative and cost-effective solutions to problems at the heart of poverty and inequity. But no single philanthropy, and no coalition of philanthropies, could fill the void potentially left by the U.S. Government. We will continue to make the case that investing in health and development and U.S. education is good for the United States and furthers American interests abroad.”
The Microsoft co-founder’s meetings on Monday came amid a proposed reduction in funding for programs including the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which affects a large number of researchers and institutions across the country. Trump’s budget would spare some of the programs referenced by Gates, but researchers are sounding the alarm about the proposed cuts overall.
Here’s our interview with Gates discussing his earlier meeting with Trump.