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The Optimist


Perspectives on the global response to the 2019 novel coronavirus

girl wearing red mask

COVID-19: A Global Perspective

In the 2020 Goalkeepers report, Bill and Melinda Gates reflect on the profound effects the COVID-19 pandemic is having on progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, and what the world needs to do to come together to end the pandemic. .

Read the report ›

When a COVID-19 vaccine is ready, this group will make sure the whole world can access it

By Bill Gates

You’ve probably been hearing about the race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. There are dozens of potential candidates being researched. One might be ready as soon as next year.

I wanted to put the development of a COVID-19 vaccine in a bit more context: Where do vaccines come from? And once they’re developed, how do they get where they need to go? The story is more complex than you might think. I explain more (with the help of some interesting charts and graphs) in the video.

Read the full article ›

COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

More information about the foundation's COVID-19 response.


Read more in our FAQ >





From the Experts




COVID-19 Announcements

April 15, 2020

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Expands Commitment to Global COVID-19 Response, Calls for International Collaboration to Protect People Everywhere from the Virus: Additional funding brings foundation commitment to more than $250 million to support development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines; help strengthen African and South Asian health systems; and help mitigate the social and economic impacts of the virus.

March 30, 2020

COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator Awards $20 Million in Initial Grants to Fund Clinical Trials: Partners in the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator announced grants of $20 million to three institutions—the University of Washington, University of Oxford, and La Jolla Institute for Immunology—to fund clinical trials in order to identify highly potent immunotherapies for the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants mark the first investments to come from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator.

March 25, 2020

Life Sciences Companies Commit Expertise and Assets to the Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic Alongside Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation along with a consortium of life sciences companies announced an important collaboration to accelerate the development, manufacture, and delivery of vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments for COVID-19. The life sciences industry brings a range of assets, resources, and expertise needed to identify effective and scalable solutions to the pandemic, which is affecting billions worldwide.



March 10, 2020

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard Launch Initiative to Speed Development and Access to Therapies for COVID-19: The Gates Foundation and Wellcome are each contributing up to $50 million, and the Mastercard Impact Fund has committed up to $25 million to catalyze the initial work of the accelerator. The Gates Foundation’s funding is part of its up to $100 million commitment to the COVID-19 response announced last month.

March 4, 2020

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Commits $5 Million to Help Public Health Agencies in Greater Seattle Area Respond to COVID-19: The foundation will work in coordination with Public Health-Seattle & King County, the Washington State Department of Health, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help them enhance their capacity to detect and treat COVID-19 and guide public health efforts to reduce transmission. Part of this effort will explore how the resources of the Seattle Flu Study could be pivoted toward emergency efforts to monitor and respond to COVID-19.

February 5, 2020

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Dedicates Additional Funding to the Novel Coronavirus Response: The foundation will provide up to $100 million to improve detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations in Africa and South Asia; and accelerate the development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics.

January 26, 2020

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Commits $10 Million to Global Response to 2019-nCOV: The foundation is committing $5 million to the 2019-nCoV response in China and is already working with a range of Chinese public and private sector partners to accelerate national and international cooperation in areas of critical need, including efforts to identify and confirm cases, safely isolate and care for patients and accelerate the development of treatments and vaccines.