Bill Gates congratulates India
Microsoft co-founder and WHO mega-donor Bill Gates has once again praised India for its success in managing the Covid-19 pandemic, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that his country surpassed the “special figure” of two billion vaccinations in around 18 months.
“We are grateful for our continued partnership with Indian vaccine manufacturers and the Indian government for mitigating the impact of COVID19,” Gates tweeted on Tuesday, congratulating India on “yet another milestone,” while tagging PM Modi personally.
On Sunday, Modi tweeted: “India creates history again! Congrats to all Indians on crossing the special figure of 200 crore vaccine doses. Proud of those who contributed to making India’s vaccination drive unparalleled in scale and speed. This has strengthened the global fight against COVID-19.”
Congratulations @narendramodi for yet another milestone of administering #200crorevaccinations. We are grateful for our continued partnership with Indian vaccine manufacturers and the Indian government for mitigating the impact of COVID19. https://t.co/YeGUPsveL0— Bill Gates (@BillGates) July 19, 2022
This is not the first time Gates has praised India for its Covid-19 response. Following a meeting with Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos in May, the billionaire said the country’s “success with the vaccination drive and the use of technology to drive health outcomes at scale offers many lessons for the world.”
Gates has been a leading figure in the global vaccination effort since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Though not a doctor, his views gained added weight due to the Gates Foundation's role as a major donor to the World Health Organization (WHO). It also invests billions in the development and distribution of vaccines.
The college dropout-turned-software-billionaire also attracted scrutiny over his 2015 TED Talk in which he warned of an “inevitable” global pandemic. Earlier this year, he published a book titled ‘How to Prevent the Next Pandemic’, which was praised by WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He is also pushing for the creation of a Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization (GERM) team with an annual budget of at least $1 billion that would plan for future pandemics.