A clip was recently obtained by MSNBC of Bill Gates speaking in a staff meeting at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation this week, where the Microsoft founder disclosed of two meetings he had with Donald Trump in December 2016 and in March 2017.
“In both of those two meetings he asked me if vaccines weren't a bad thing because he was considering a commission to look into ill-effects of vaccines,” Gates is seen saying in a video that aired Thursday on All In With Chris Hayes. “And somebody, Robert Kennedy Jr., was advising him that vaccines were causing bad things and I said, ‘No, that is a dead end, that would be a bad thing, do not do that.’”
He added, “Both times he wanted to know if there was a difference between HIV and HPV. So, I was able to explain that those are rarely confused with each other."
A candid Gates also shared a moment where Trump showed a discomforting interest in his daughter, Jennifer.
“There was a thing where he and I were at the same place before the election and I avoided him. Then he got elected. So then I went to see him in December,” Gates added in the video. "He knew my daughter, Jennifer, because Trump has this horse show thing down in Florida. He went up and talked to Jen and was being super nice. And then around 20 minutes later he flew in on a helicopter to the same place. So clearly he had been driven away and he wanted to make a grand entrance on a helicopter. Anyway, so when I first talked to him it was actually kind of scary how much he knew about my daughter's appearance. Melinda did not like that too well.”
Trump’s ignorance on HIV is not new information. Last year, a 1997 Howard Stern interview resurfaced where he bragged about not having contracted STIs during his bachelor years, calling himself a “brave soldier” and that vaginas were like “landmines” for STIs. He also joked about forcing Princess Diana to have an HIV test.
In an earlier 1993 interview with Howard Stern, People magazine mentions the fact that he said he didn’t go to Vietnam, and that men who dodged going to fight in the war needn’t feel guilty because dating during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s was just as dangerous.
“You know, if you’re young, and in this era, and if you have any guilt about not having gone to Vietnam, we have our own Vietnam — it’s called the dating game,” he said in the 1993 interview. “Dating is like being in Vietnam. You’re the equivalent of a soldier going over to Vietnam.”
As Plus previously reported, last February Trump released his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The $4.4 trillion budget proposal is unlikely to be enacted by Congress as is, but it does show where his priorities lie: large funding increases to the military and steep cuts to federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
The proposed budget completely eliminates funding for the AIDS Education and Training Centers (AETCs) and Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS), which are both programs run under the auspices of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. The budget also recommends cutting U.S. global HIV/AIDS programs by $1 billion.
These funding cuts would affect USAID, CDC global HIV programs, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), which could result in an estimated one million people dying prematurely of AIDS. It also eliminates Medicaid expansion.
Since launching in 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has aimed to to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty in America and across the world. The foundation has donated nearly $300 million to various HIV researchers.
Earlier this year, it teamed up with Intarcia Therapeutics to invest upwards of $140 million with the intent of developing the first once or twice-yearly anti-HIV prophylactic to help prevent the spread of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa and other countries.
The foundation has been leading the world in treatment advancement and research to fight diseases, giving $6.6 billion to global health programs ($1.3 on malaria alone) as well as $70 million to help improve nutrition and agriculture in Africa, $27 million to help vaccinate against Japanese encephalitis, and a whopping $460 million co-investment with other organizations to develop vaccines against known infectious disease threats worldwide.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus that is generally symptomless and harmless, but can result in genital warts or even cancer, depending on the strain contracted.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that corrupts human T cells. It is spread through bodily fluids — blood, semen, pre-ejaculate, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. Today, HIV treatment will lower one’s viral load to such low levels that it makes them undetectable, making it impossible for them to transmit the virus to others.