Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Donate $125 Million to Develop COVID-19 Vaccine:

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Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates are investing in the race for a cure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

On Thursday, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder, 64, appeared during The Daily Show, discussing the pandemic with host Trevor Noah. During the conversation, Gates announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation plans to help fund seven factories working on potential vaccines, even though they may not all pan out.

Gates explained that, though a “few billion” dollars could go to “waste” on the efforts that are deemed not viable, it’s key to work on safety and efficacy at the same time as manufacturing so as not to waste vital time. Since government protocol would elongate the process, Gates said his foundation can get the ball rolling on the prospects simultaneously.

“But a few billion in this situation we’re in where there’s trillions of dollars being lost economically, it is worth it,” he said. “… Every month counts.”

Last month, the foundation announced that it would contribute $125 million to finding potential COVID-19 treatments and to accelerate their developments, according to a press release.

On Sunday, Gates showed support for medical workers on the front lines on Instagram, writing, “Thank you to all of the health care workers who are making heroic efforts to test and treat patients across the United States and the world.”

Melinda Gates and Bill Gates

Melinda Gates and Bill Gates in September CHRISTOPHER FARBER/GATES ARCHIVE

Gates currently ranks as the second-richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, worth an estimated $97 billion. Just ahead of the tech innovator is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, whose total net worth sits at $118 billion.

Last week, Bezos, 56, announced on Instagram that he is donating $100 million to Feeding America, a hunger-relief organization, in order to help families who rely on food banks and have been majorly impacted by the virus.

“Even in ordinary times, food insecurity in American households is an important problem, and unfortunately COVID-19 is amplifying that stress significantly,” he wrote on Instagram. “… Today, I want to support those on the front lines at our nation’s food banks and those who are relying on them for food.”

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