“ ‘Most governments take advantage of their scientists and listen to them. They don’t undermine them and attack them.’ ”
That’s Bill Gates, billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft MSFT, -0.82% co-founder, throwing shade, without naming names, at the Trump administration for its treatment of Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Gates, in an interview posted Wednesday on CNBC
“Our response in most respects has not been very good. And we would have expected it to be good,” he said, adding that other countries have “done very, very well” in taking the steps to combat the virus.
“Mask compliance in the United States is quite poor,” Gates said. “And yet the cost of the mask and the productivity lost from [not wearing] the mask, it’s quite an intervention.”
Watch the interview:
In a separate interview a day earlier on Politico, Gates delivered the same message about the federal government’s shortcomings.
“If you’re willing to admit that you’re not doing a perfect job, you could improve this thing very, very quickly,” he said. “Right now, testing, contact tracing, we’re doing among the worst of any country.”
Gates again defended Dr. Fauci, calling out the government for “undermining the credibility of the person who’s the most knowledgeable.” He didn’t point to Trump specifically, though the president is clearly the infectious disease expert’s most visible critic.
“Fortunately, Dr. Fauci has risen above the noise level, in talking about masks and best practices, and so the fact that they’re trying to undermine him for some reason, that just blows the mind,” Gates said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus illness COVID-19 rose above 216,000 on Wednesday, driven by a spike in new cases in the Midwest and Mountain West. In the last seven days, 16 states have reportedly added more new cases than at any other time since the start of the pandemic