Bill Gates Announces $12M Grand Challenge For Universal Influenza Vaccine Development, Discusses Global Health Work, Meeting With Trump In Interviews

Devex: Bill Gates calls for new ideas for a universal influenza vaccine
“On Friday, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates announced the launch of the $12 million Universal Influenza Vaccine Development Grand Challenge. … Gates broke the news during a talk at the Massachusetts Medical Society annual meeting, where he stressed the high stakes through an animation showing how quickly the 1918 flu virus spread across the United States. A simulation showed that today, an airborne pathogen could kill 33 million people in six months…” (Cheney, 4/27).

Quartz: Bill Gates is donating $12 million to help develop a universal flu vaccine
“…To combat [potential disease outbreak] threats, Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is partnering with Lucy and Larry Page, (the chief executive of Alphabet) to establish a $12 million fund for researchers working on a universal flu vaccine…” (Foley, 4/27).

STAT: With cash and a call for new ideas, Bill Gates tries to boost the campaign for a universal flu vaccine
“…The science Gates is hoping to unleash would revolutionize influenza vaccination and render the virus a much less potent threat, both year to year and during flu pandemics. But the figure on offer is a small fraction of what it is expected to cost to develop a vaccine that would generate long-lasting protection against the wide range of flu viruses…” (Branswell, 4/27).

Washington Post: Bill Gates calls on U.S. to lead fight against a pandemic that could kill 33 million
“… ‘This could be an important first step if the White House and Congress use the opportunity to articulate and embrace a leadership role for the U.S.,’ Gates said in the speech. No other country, he noted, has the depth of scientific or technical expertise that the United States possesses, drawing on the resources of institutions such as NIH, CDC, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, as well as the Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency” (Sun, 4/27).

Additional coverage of this story is available from ABC News, The Atlantic, Business Insider, The Hill, Newsweek, NPR, Scientific American, STAT, UPI, and U.S. News & World Report.

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