Gates offers grim global health report, and some optimism

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday released its 4th annual Goalkeeper report, which this year details how the COVID-19 pandemic has sidelined progress on key global health objectives.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday released its 4th annual Goalkeeper report, which this year details how the COVID-19 pandemic has sidelined progress on key global health objectives. Specifically, more families are suffering from extreme poverty, malnutrition is on the rise, and fewer children are keeping up with vaccine recommendations. Childbirth complications, deaths from malaria, and the incidence of diseases such as measles and diphtheria are beginning to creep up, too. As for coronavirus itself, the report zeros in on economic fallout from the outbreak, which has been crippling to impoverished nations. A turnaround will occur in 2 or 3 years, Bill Gates predicts in an interview, after a vaccine ends the pandemic. In the meantime, the report calculates, nearly twice as many COVID-19 deaths could be avoided if vaccines were distributed to countries based on populations rather than wealth. With that in mind, Gates believes now is a perfect time for policymakers to step up U.S. foreign aid. His argument follows that in a world reliant on tourism and business travel, no country can truly recover until they all do. "There's a better global argument for generosity on this one than there is for HIV or malaria," he says.