tv Bill Melinda Gates Discussion on COVID-19 CSPAN June 29, 2020 9:45am-10:02am EDT
>> now, bill and melinda gates on what their foundation is doing in developing a covid-19 vaccine. the conversation was hosted by the u.s. chamber of commerce. the gates are also working toward an internationally coordinated response to deliver a vaccine equitybly once it's created. >> welcome to a very special edition of the u.s. chamber foundation's top forward series. if you've been a regular viewer, welcome back. if you're new to the series, thank you for joining us, we hope you find it both informative and interesting and boy, did you pick a great week to tune in. over the past few months, we have been bringing together experts in a number of fields, all around the topic of returning to work. today we're thrilled to be joined by two of the most impactful philanthropists in the world. bill and melinda gates have dedicated their lives to advancing science and improving
public health among other initiatives. the u.s. chamber foundation has a deep relationship with the gates foundation. for more than a decade, we've worked together op both k through 12 and post secondary education reform and we value their partnership and we're very pleased to have bill and melinda gates with us here today. as you've likely seen a few years ago, bill brought attention to the risk of a global pandemic. sadly, his warning is a reality. the good news is he and melinda have committed themselves and their organization to finding a solution and that gives us all a sense of hope. the bill and melinda gates foundation have committed more than $300 million to the global covid-19 response. we're so grateful to their leadership during this trying moment and are excited to talk to them today. this episode was pre-recorded to fit their busy schedule toe there won't be audience questions at the end of the time, but there's a lot that we get to talk about, so let's get
to it. well, thank you very much for being with us. we have so many questions and we just want to jump right in. so let me ask you both, what is the gates foundation doing to fight the coronavirus and why is it such a priority for you? >> our foundation has a big focus on infectious diseases, that kill millions of people, primarily in developing countries so our understanding about how you define a vaccine. we've funded lots of new vaccines and partner in-- that vaccines for developing countries. and which should be build factories for and how we coordinate this activity. so it's become a huge focus for us and of course, the benefit of getting the vaccine, even three or four months earlier will be very dramatic in terms
of ending these awful economic effects, as well as the death and disease. >> when do you think we'll see a vaccine and a two-part question because you also talked beautifully about the need to have an equitable distribution of a vaccine. when will we see it at scale and what can we do to make this equitable? >> i believe that we all think that the candidates through the pipeline, three are looking promising luckily and believe by 2021 we will have a vaccine. we're working ahead of time with the manufacturers, with the pharmaceutical companies to try and actually have manufacturing capability ready to go so as soon as those trials are finished, the vaccine can go immediately into manufacturing and the whole reason we got involved in this vaccine was to make sure there's equitable distribution.
the last thing you want is a bidding war between countries for this vaccine. you know, we know there are 60 million health care workers around the world who are keeping everybody safe. they deserve to get this vaccine first and from there, you want to do tiering in various country to make sure your most vulnerable populations get it, in our country that would be blacks and native americans, people with underlying conditions and the elderly so we need to look at as a globe, we're involved with many european leaders and african leaders and southeast asia to make sure there's a purchasing fund that can pull that vaccine through when available and get it out in widespread distribution. >> and so many questions, we'll try to stay focused. let me go back to bill for a second, you got widespread attention for prediction you made in 2015 about the dangers of the global pandemic and you
sadly to the world, did predict the future. let me ask you to do it again. what are you concerned about now? >> well, this won't be the last pandemic that we face. you know, pandemics can come from natural causes, which is largely coming across from other species, a flu, for example, is still a very big risk and so we'll have to invest in making sure that we catch the disease sooner and that we have platforms to make diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccine quickly. very little was invested even though there were these calls by a lot of people, including our foundation, one group that was funded, the coalition for epidemic preparedness and-- cepi, we u.k., japan were initial funders and that's helping out here so we're
better off than if that hadn't happened. but, you know, people trust government to think through these eventually bad things. this was a failure to get ready and the cost would have been tiny compared to, say, what we spend on being ready for war. we didn't actually do the simulation to think about, okay, what about nursing homes? what about getting factories ready. what about the testing regime? in fact, the testing could have been ramped up very quickly and a few countries that have almost avoided the epidemic entirely, like taiwan and new zealand, australia, you know, they took their experience and actually prepared and so they moved a lot faster. so, we, you know, we'll have to prepare for the next one. that's, you know, i'd say is--
will get attention this time. >> so, you know, that remind me of going back to the vaccine, melinda and i promise to move off of it, but we've never m a vaccine for a coronavirus and that makes people nervous about this one. that's why i think the audience will be so pleased to hear your optimism. what do you think is different this time that makes us think the development will happen? is it this global coordination? >> it's the pharmaceutical companies working together with scientists from all over the globe in a very coordinated fashion. we've never seen the companies come together in this way and also, to be thinking ahead about manufacturing and manufacturing not just for their own country or their own region, but for other places in the word. so that's what makes us optimistic is the many, are many conversations that we're having, the way that we're seeing the scientists move
forward with the data as soon as they get it and also seeing global leaders come together like the european commission did a huge pledging event for the vaccine alliance that we've been part of and seeing money coming together to say we need this so it's ready when the vaccine is ready to go, we can actually purchase that vaccine for the rest of the world. >> and do you think the same thing is true on therapeutics and testing, think that the way that things are coming together will let us where we need to be on the other side of the situation as well? >> people were caught a little flat-footed in that usually the u.s. is well-organized. the new drug that got proven out, is a trial that we funded with others in the u.k. usually we expect the u.s. to do good coordinated trials and to pick drugs for their scientific merit. the world has had a little bit
of a hard time when the u.s. testing things went in the wrong direction, when it hasn't been a federal notion of how you prioritize things, but i've said, the europeans are filling that vacuum and their generosity was good. people hope the u.s. is back, but withdrawing from the is a step in the direction. and the progress we've made it done through who and you know, a substantial part of the u.s. money is -- that goes there is for the polio eradication. so, you know, there's a still a chance for the u.s. to contribute on this and, you know, not just thinking of
itself, but also in the same way we did, and particularly president bush and pepfar did, prepping out the world. >> you've both been really vocal on the need to make this a global response and help people outside of or borders. if you were talking to, in this audience of small business person in the middle of the country somewhere who might not understand that. explan why you think it's important to reach beyond our borders and control this virus. >> i think that covid anywhere is an a covid everywhere. and all the supplies for your business probably on the all from the united states. and your customers probably aren't all u.s. customers. if we want a global supply chain and global manufacturing,
we have to get the whole world coordinated in its response to this disease because it's not going to be able to be contained in one or places, even if it was, we've gotten it outside of the u.s. borders. >> yeah, to put it in perspective, the u.s. has spent trillions of dollars to try and deal with the problem here. we're only talking about, you know, less than a few percent that-- of that that would need to be spent on helping get rid of the disease in the entire world. so it's not like there's some gigantic trade-off. these are very small dollars. you know, just like the who is $500 million a year, you know, for things like reproductive health, vaccines, polio, it also a lot of different areas, so it's not competing budget-wise with the large scale resources. >> you know, your foundation does amazing work. we've been lucky to be parte ee
-- partners for a long time and great work. and makes me wonder how the world is changing in a broader sense as a result of this virus. melinda, let me go to you first, what do you think we'll see in terms of some lasting changes as a result of this health and economic crisis? >> well, i think that's yet to come and i think, you know, it's up to us pass citizens to rebuild the world that we want. i think this crisis has exposed some of the gaps around the world, but take particularly in the united states. one in particular are the racial and gender inequities that exist. in terms of gender, we know that women do two and a half times more work at home than men do and that's the unpaid labor of caring for the kids, making the lunch, making sure they're on-line learning right now, and so, you know, it will expose for us that it's way past time that the u.s. has a
paid family medical leave policy. we're the only industrialized nation that doesn't. if we want to put people back to work safely and keep their family safe and from getting sick, we had need paid family leave and i think congress in its wisdom addressed that, and not only has covid expressed the gaps. it shows the opportunities, the fact that kids to jump on-line and start learning. unfortunately it's not all kids, many didn't have access to a computer or good digital literacy on-line or teachers who know how to teach on-line. and now the great lesson plans a and-- one last example in the developing world. many, many people who have phone and do digital banking on
their phone, access to money on their phone, mobile money, that's at scale in a number of countries, all of a sudden people said, oh, my gosh, to not have to sand in line for nigh government payment and get sick? pakistan alone, 48 hours, 40 million additional people signed up for digital bank account. that's an opportunity we can use and particularly use to reach low income families and women on that phone with all kind of things, like cash transfers, more information, more information about when health services are available. so, some of those digital communities are really hitting in ways we didn't expect, as quickly as we had been-- had thought they would. >> i love that answer because i think there's a lot we're afraid of right now both in terms of health and the economy and how to right this social injustice ship and there's a lot we're afraid of and it's nice to think of optimistic outcomes for this, too.
so the other day, in an interview, david rubenstein asked me what i had learned about working remotely and i admitted to him i was conducting a lot of interviews without shoes on. i'm pleading the shift about my shoeless state at the moment. ... and yet our work is going on pretty much full speed. and because i'm involved in software i think we make you software platforms even better, make it easy to take notes or share things or have side
conversations, but it's been decent enough to allow a lot to happen. it will accelerate the idea to we need to travel as much? how good can we make online education? how good can we make telemedicine? it's like ten years of progress on those things will get preston into a couple of years. >> i would say our lies like everybody around the united states have changed substantially. we are incredibly fortunate not to be struggling to put a meal on the table. we just are lucky. yes our work lives come working from home was not something we did as much before. we're losing a lot of microsoft teams -- >> we are vibrant c-span2. adam schiff, -- >> will discuss election interference and social media role in spreading disinformation.