Hooray for Gates!

I have plenty of issues with Microsoft and Bill Gates: a general dislike for his necessary but dysfunctional software that I use every day, and an annoyance at some of his strong-armed business tactics. But the Microsoft founder just announced that in two years he’s going to step down from a day-to-day role at his company and devote ...

608282_Gateshealth5.jpg
608282_Gateshealth5.jpg
(NNS2-JAN16) Bill Gates checks the mouth of a child at a health clinic in New Delhi, India. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave $25 million last year for immunizations in India and $5 million to expand a program that will provide free computer training for 50,000 underprivileged students in that country. SEE ``RICH-POLICY'' (Newhouse), transmitted Jan. 16. (Photo from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

I have plenty of issues with Microsoft and Bill Gates: a general dislike for his necessary but dysfunctional software that I use every day, and an annoyance at some of his strong-armed business tactics. But the Microsoft founder just announced that in two years he's going to step down from a day-to-day role at his company and devote himself full-time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

That's good news for those working to improve global health and education. It wasn't that many years ago that people accused Gates of not contributing to society with philanthropy, even though he's the richest man in the world. To his credit, Gates has certainly more than stepped up to the challenge. His foundations have donated more than $6 billion to the eradication of neglected diseases, as Erika Check describes in her story "Quest for the Cure" in the upcoming issue of FP. Some scientists, who can't get funding from pharmaceutical companies or governments, are using Gates's money in very creative ways to get medications to those who need it the most. It's good to hear that Gates will spend his twilight years focusing on these issues 24-7.

I have plenty of issues with Microsoft and Bill Gates: a general dislike for his necessary but dysfunctional software that I use every day, and an annoyance at some of his strong-armed business tactics. But the Microsoft founder just announced that in two years he’s going to step down from a day-to-day role at his company and devote himself full-time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

That’s good news for those working to improve global health and education. It wasn’t that many years ago that people accused Gates of not contributing to society with philanthropy, even though he’s the richest man in the world. To his credit, Gates has certainly more than stepped up to the challenge. His foundations have donated more than $6 billion to the eradication of neglected diseases, as Erika Check describes in her story “Quest for the Cure” in the upcoming issue of FP. Some scientists, who can’t get funding from pharmaceutical companies or governments, are using Gates’s money in very creative ways to get medications to those who need it the most. It’s good to hear that Gates will spend his twilight years focusing on these issues 24-7.

Christine Y. Chen is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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