Bill and Melinda Gates answer 'tough questions' in annual letter

A screenshot of the homepage of Bill and Melinda Gates’ website

Bill Gates said he's concerned by Trump's focus on "America First", and his proposal to slash foreign-aid funding. Gates, whose work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aims to reduce health inequities around the developing world, said that Trump's proposed cuts to global health programs leaves the USA vulnerable to health crises like rapidly-spreading pandemics. "The world is not a safer place when more people are sick or hungry". "It's better for the United States when it leads, through hard power and soft power".

Melinda Gates also criticized how the president conducts himself on social media. "We've learned over the years that listening and understanding people's needs from their perspective is not only more respectful-it's also more effective", she says. Even if it opens the two up to more tough questions, George said, that's a good thing.

"We're trying to channel your empathy, add your optimism, mix in technology, apply strategy, and work with partners to save more lives", Melinda Gates wrote. Specifically, student aid programs need to work better for low-income students, as some 2 million students who are eligible for aid don't even apply because the process is burdensome.

The Gates' letter, released early Tuesday, includes responses to questions such as why they work with corporations, whether they're imposing their values on other cultures and why the foundation doesn't give more money in the United States.

"I wish our president would treat people, and especially women, with more respect when he speaks and tweets", she wrote. "Budgets are a reflection of our priorities", she wrote in a statement. For 2018 though, Bill and Melinda made a decision to offer a bit of insight into their personalities and ventured to take on "10 tough questions that we get asked".

Little surprise there. Since its inception in 2000 through 2016, the foundation - which is fueled in part by billions from Bill Gates' friend and mentor Warren Buffett - has doled out $41.3 billion, and has a trust endowment of $40.3 billion.

"They do feel like they'd rather give their money away than have it captured by estate taxes", he said. To a lesser degree, the foundation also works to improve the USA educational system.

However, for the past ten years, Bill and Melinda have set aside a small portion of their time to directly interact with the public at large through their foundation's annual letter which normally touts the year's achievements. The number of mothers who die has also dropped.

"If the USA cuts back on its investments overseas", Gates wrote, "people in other countries will die, and Americans will be worse off".

Is it fair that you have so much influence? As presumed, some of the questions on the list come from the Gates Foundation's most staunch critics looking for real commentary on how and why Bill and Meldina believe they can impart their influence, financial or celebrity related, in areas, they are relatively nascent at.

"We can always use more of it".

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