Tuesday, November 01, 2005

good gates

'm midway through a fascinating and deeply challenging New Yorker article about Bill and Melinda Gates and their efforts to eliminate diseases that affect the poor. By challenging I don't mean tough read, but because it has quotes from world health officals:
"There is one sad fact about the malaria community," kent Campbell, a former chief of the malaria branch at the Centers for Disease Control, told me. "We have always been so wedded to failure that we don't even have the leadership necessary to risk the additional failure to get where we need to be. This would cost two or three dollars a person." He was referring to treatment and prevention services for Africans. "It has gone on for too long. I would love to believe that in the United States this effort is being driven by a decent desire to help, but I don't think most American's give a rat's ass about the death of millions of African kids each year. I don't think they ever have."

Meantime, the Gates foundation has spent "six billion dollars to address health issues in the third world -- more than nearly every other... nation" that contributes to the World Health Organization.

I recall not so long ago believing that Bill Gates was evil. Sort of a 21st Century railroad baron. But, man, if this is where he's going to put his money, I'm all over the Microsoft products.

Gotta dig this:
Gates owns more than a billion shares of Microsoft, which at times have been worth as much as a hundred billion dollars. Today, after his contributions to the foundation, his net worth stands at roughly half that amount. "We knew that we wanted to give virtually all of it away instead of having it go to our kids," he said.

Right on!

Cross-X by Joe Miller

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