Bill Gates Hits Trump’s Coronavirus Boast With A Blunt Reality Check

Billionaire Bill Gates had a blunt assessment of President Donald Trump’s claims about the U.S. response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Trump on Sunday falsely claimed that the United States has “one of the lowest mortality rates in the world” and “maybe the lowest mortality rate anywhere in the world,” while holding up a chart that showed otherwise during a Fox News interview.

In an interview with CBS News, Gates offered up a fact check.  

“Not at all, not even close,” Gates told CBS. “By almost every measure, the U.S. is one of the worst.”

As PolitiFact notes, there are a number of ways of looking at mortality rates. The United States is not one of the lowest or the lowest in any of them. 

The Microsoft cofounder said the nation hasn’t made headway against the disease the way other countries have because of areas that reopened while cases were still increasing, resistance to masks and lack of overall leadership. 

“Serious mistakes were made,” he said.

Gates, who CBS said has donated $300 million to the global effort to fight the pandemic, said an eventual COVID-19 vaccine would likely require two shots.

“None of the vaccines at this point appear like they’ll work with a single dose,” he said. “That was the hope at the very beginning.”

Gates has for years warned of a major pandemic as a global threat, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has focused on fighting infectious diseases, especially in developing nations.  

The organization announced in June that it would commit to $1.6 billion in funding for vaccines for children in the poorest nations, including $100 million for an eventual coronavirus vaccine.  

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