Melinda Gates gives Trump administration ‘D-minus’ for coronavirus response

But to accomplish this, Gates said, more money needs to be put toward testing and contact tracing, starting with health care workers and then moving to vulnerable populations in the country. She said organizations should also be looking to fund vaccine development, citing European leaders’ fundraising efforts this week that brought in $7.4 billion for vaccine research.

She criticized the U.S. for “lacking in its response” on the international stage, and said that in Africa, for example, food insecurity and other health issues would be exacerbated post-pandemic.

“What we’re just beginning to see in Africa, you’re going to see a lot more food insecurity there and a lot more health issues,” Gates said. “And when you have that there, it also bounces back into Europe, into the United States. So far, more is needed for the international response, which the U.S. really has been lacking in its response completely on the international front.”

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement on Thursday evening that President Donald Trump had taken an “unprecedented approach“ to working with governors across the U.S. to get states the resources they need.

“The ongoing response to this global pandemic has been about close coordination and partnerships with State and local governments,” Deere said. “The White House has been working with Governors and their teams since January on this whole-of-government response, including supply chains, testing, data-driven guidelines for social distancing, and now a responsible plan to open America again.”

Melinda Gates and her husband, the world’s second-richest man, established their foundation in 2000, making a mark in philanthropy, especially in the field of public health.