Bill Gates made headlines commending China’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Gates told CNN, “You know, China did a lot of things right at the beginning, like any country where a virus shows up.”
We now know that once Chinese government officials learned of the possible pandemic in China, they hid the information from the Chinese people for six days and allowed the city of Wuhan to host a mass banquet as millions began traveling for Lunar New Year celebrations.
President Xi Jinping did not warn the Chinese people of the outbreak until the seventh day, January 20th, when more than 3,000 people had already been infected.
Later in the CNN interview, Gates called blaming China’s handling of the virus a “distraction” and said, “I think there’s a lot of incorrect and unfair things said, but it’s not even time for that discussion.”
Except it is time.
Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1975. The internet age and dot-com boom grew Microsoft into a multinational tech company in the blink of an eye. With Gates at the helm, Microsoft’s global presence focused East as the company moved a great deal of their manufacturing overseas to China.
As a result, Microsoft employees in US cities like Oregon, Seattle, and San Francisco saw their jobs shipped overseas to sweat shops in China. Microsoft’s investments in Chinese tech growth at the direction of Gates grew corporate’s bottom line but devastated American tech workers unable to rival China’s cheap labor, low production costs, and state subsidizes.
Over years of Microsoft’s business dealings with China, Gates developed relationships with Chinese Communist Party leaders and CCP affiliated business executives and like Alibaba’s Jack Ma, and, in 2014, touted their shared philanthropic commitments.
Gates’s charitable interest in China began in 2007, when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation opened a Chinese office dedicated to reducing poverty and improving health. The Gates Foundation mission statement for their China office reads: “We have been focused on unlocking potential in a way that benefits China and the rest of the world.”
He even wrote on his personal blog in 2014:
Microsoft came to China very early and was one of the first multinational companies to set up a dedicated research group here. As a result, we were able to recruit amazing talent; while I’m certainly biased, I think MSR-Asia holds a nearly unique place in China and continues to attract fantastic computer scientists.
When it comes to technology, China seeks unchallenged control, often to the detriment of the rest of the world. In 2018, Yinou Li – China Director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – participated as a panelist at the Fourth Annual China and Globalization Forum in Beijing to discuss “China’s Race for Tech Supremacy.”
China’s desire to dominate world technology, with the aid of tech corporatists like Bill Gates, targets developing nations most aggressively.
Take Africa, for example.
Bill Gates’s reluctance to condemn the CCP’s exploitative endeavors across the developing world mirrors his unwillingness to criticize China’s botched response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Unlike Gates, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is willing to speak to the destruction the Chinese Communist Party unleashed on their own people and the world through their failure to alert global health experts of the outbreak.
In one interview Pompeo said: “China caused an enormous amount of pain, loss of life, and now a huge challenge for the global economy and the American economy as well by not sharing the information they had… you should know we still don’t have full transparency from the Chinese Communist Party.”
Highlighting China’s mishandling of the novel coronavirus pandemic is not a distraction.