May 7, 2020 — Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Pivotal Ventures, said Thursday that Congress must focus on vulnerable populations in the next stimulus plan.
“We're seeing what's happening to people of color who are disproportionately affected,” Gates said.
Gates, speaking on a Politico webinar, put significant emphasis on the importance of women to the coronavirus response. She cited figures showing that women make up 85 percent of the nursing force and 65 percent of the primary care force, as well as being significantly more likely to leave their jobs if someone in their family became sick.
“We need to protect them and think about how they protect all the rest of us,” Gates said. “If you don’t do that, you’re not going to be able to get this economy back going and on cycle, and you’re going to keep seeing more and more of this disease spreading over time.”
Although the full effects of the pandemic on education are yet to be seen, Gates pointed to Ebola as a model. The countries most affected by the Ebola crisis saw increased teen pregnancy and fewer girls in school during the years following.
“If [the impact of COVID-19 on education] looks like Ebola, it's not going to be good,” Gates said. “And that's why this data is so important. We have to collect … sex and race disaggregated data so we know where to act and where to intervene with supplies and medicines and money. If we don't get the data, we won't actually know what's going on.”
The Foundation is exploring ways to “help low income students who don’t have access to broadband, who don’t yet have a computer in [their] home,” Gates said.
“Maybe they have those two things, but their teacher is struggling to figure out how to teach online because he or she’s never taught online before,” she added.
So far, the Gates Foundation has committed $300 million to the coronavirus response. Gates said she thought it was possible that they would need to contribute more.
“Bill and I are on this—not every other day, we are on this issue every single day, most hours of the day,” Gates said. “And the need is great.”
- Technology Behind Google and Apple’s Protocol is Insufficient for Contact Tracing, But Preserves Users’ Privacy
- Broadband Roundup: Section 230 Fears, T-Mobile Claims 5G Rollout, Ajit Pai Challenges Twitter
- At Silicon Flatirons, UN Representative Says World Must Stand By Twitter in Battle of Intimidation with Trump
- Partisan Disagreement Delays Broadband Funding That Might Come Through HEROES Act
- Gary Bolton: Under the Stress of COVID-19, the Networks That Held Fast Were Symmetrical Fiber Broadband
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Congress6 days ago
Senators Introduce Healthcare Broadband Bill as House Companion, Proposes $2 Billion Telehealth Expansion
China1 month ago
China Expert Predicts that Nation’s Flawed Coronavirus Response Will Damage the Power of Chinese Communist Party
Broadband Data1 month ago
CenturyLink CTO Boasts Success in Handling Coronavirus-Induced ‘Hot’ Networks, Credits Company’s Fiber Push
Big Tech3 weeks ago
The Rise, Reign, and Self-Repair of Zoom
Fiber4 days ago
Fiber Networks Hold a Cybersecurity Advantage Over Rival Co-Axial and Wireless Technologies, Say Panelists
#broadbandlive1 month ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – Will the Coronavirus Lead to a Loss of Privacy? Weighing Contact Tracing and Broadband Surveillance
Net Neutrality1 month ago
Public Interest Groups Blast FCC For Refusal to Extend Public Safety Deadline on Net Neutrality Comments
Rural4 weeks ago
Why the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund is So Significant, and How to Succeed in Applying For RDOF