COVID-19 has killed more than 900,000 people, while plunging the world into an economic recession that is likely to get worse. On Tuesday, Sept. 15, Melinda Gates will join Washington Post senior writer Frances Stead Sellers for a news-making interview outlining innovative public health and economic solutions for a crisis unlike any other the world has faced. Join the conversation at 10:00 a.m. E.T. (The Washington Post)

COVID-19 has killed more than 900,000 people, while plunging the world into an economic recession that is likely to get worse.

On Tuesday, Sept. 15, Melinda Gates will join Washington Post senior writer Frances Stead Sellers for a news-making interview outlining innovative public health and economic solutions for a crisis unlike any other the world has faced. They will discuss the findings of the Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers 2020 report, presenting new data on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and the outsized impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the world.

Highlights

Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, says President Trump’s call to defund the WHO during the coronavirus pandemic makes "no sense," and that his actions in response to the crisis work "against" a much-needed cohesive, global response to combat COVID-19. “He has very much an ‘America First’ agenda. That’s what he has said. And yet, when you have a pandemic, you need global cooperation.” (Washington Post Live)
Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, says President Trump should do three things to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. “I think he should have a national testing plan that should be run very efficiently…there should be good data collected and provided transparently…then…he should set up a national contact tracing organization that can trace the disease effectively and demand quarantining in the places where we need to do quarantining.” (Washington Post Live)
Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, says that while COVID-19 is killing more men around the world, it’s women who are dealing with the impact. She also said women can play a unique role in building back our economy after the public health crisis. “…investing in women-led businesses or investing in women’s lives—it will absolutely stimulate the economy in ways we haven’t seen before…this is the chance, instead of saying gender is a side issue, to say no, this is the main issue; this is the infrastructure that will build back the economy that we are all desiring.” (Washington Post Live)
When asked by the Washington Post if she is concerned about the long-term safety and efficacy of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, given the speed of the trials, Melinda Gates, praised the transparency of the pharmaceutical companies, saying “…they want us all to have a safe and efficacious vaccine. Their reputations are staked on this…you saw the pharmaceutical companies come out as a whole in the last week and say, we are going to make sure this vaccine is not rushed out the door.” (Washington Post Live)
Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, says that if the world is lucky enough to get a COVID-19 vaccine that is available by the first quarter of 2021, it could take years before that vaccine to ‘cover the world.’ “As it becomes available, we’re going to have to see how quickly people take it up…it will be a rolling kind of flywheel…I think it could take two, two and a half, if not three years til we fully feel like we’re back functioning, and then the economic recovery is going to take quite some time.” (Washington Post Live)

Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Melinda French Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she shapes and approves the foundation’s strategies, reviews results, and sets the organization’s overall direction. Together, Melinda and Bill meet with grantees and partners to further the foundation’s goal of improving equity in the United States and around the world. Through her work at the foundation over the last twenty years, Melinda has seen first-hand that empowering women and girls can transform the health and prosperity of families, communities, and societies. Her work has led her to focus increasingly on gender equity as a lever for change. In 2015, Melinda founded Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company working to drive social progress for women and families in the United States. She is also the author of the bestselling book The Moment of Lift, in which she introduces readers to the inspiring women she has met during her work and travels around the world and shares her own journey to becoming an advocate for women and girls. Melinda grew up in Dallas, Texas, as the second of four children. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from Duke University in 1986 and an M.B.A. from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in 1987. Melinda spent the first decade of her career developing multimedia products at Microsoft, and was later appointed General Manager of Information Products, before leaving the company to focus on her family and philanthropic work. Melinda lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband, Bill. They have three children, Jenn, Rory, and Phoebe.

Interviewed by Frances Stead Sellers

Frances Stead Sellers joined the National staff in 2016 to cover the presidential campaign. Sellers became a senior writer based in the Sunday Magazine in 2014 and spent two years before that as the editor of Style, with a focus on profiles, personalities, arts and ideas. She ran the newsroom’s health, science and environmental coverage during the battle over health care and the Gulf oil spill, and she edited a series of stories about military medical care that was a Pulitzer finalist. She has also been deputy editor of Outlook. Sellers came to The Washington Post from Civilization, the bimonthly magazine of the Library of Congress, which she helped launch in 1994 and which won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 1996.