The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is ramping up its eff*rts to f*ght the Wuhan cor-onav!rus outbr*ak with a substantial pledge—up to $100 million to assist detection, containment, and treatments as the so-called 2019-nCoV v!rus wreaks havoc across multiple nations in Asia and Africa. “Our hope is that these resources will help catalyze a rapid and effective international response.
This response should be guided by science, not fear, and it should build on the steps that the World Health Organization has taken to date,” said Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman in a statement. The $100 million total includes $10 million that the philanthropic organization already dedicated to cor-onav*rus containment eff*rts in January. The money, according to the organization, will come in stages—including an immediate $20 million commitment for a number of public health organizations such as the WHO, the CDC, and health workers on the front lines of f!ght*ng the v!rus in China.
Another $60 million will be funneled to global partners such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations in order to fuel vaccine and anti-v*ral dr*g development.
It’s a curated strategy, homing in on the nations and organizations which may need—and will be able to respond—to the outbr*ak in an efficient manner. Public health agencies are balancing the art of caution with the nature of the v!ral threat. Factors such as population density and the strength a region’s health care infrastructure play a large part in how a pathogen spreads. Furthermore, transmissibility and mortality are two separate !ssu-es: Just because you can contract something doesn’t necessarily mean it will k!ll you.
However, the quarantines, travel restrictions, and economic repercussions across certain countries grappling with this outbr*ak underscore the concerns that global health officials have given the virus’ unpredictability. “Multilateral organizations, national governments, the private sector and ph!lanthrop*es must work together to slow the pace of the outbr*ak, help countries protect their most vulner-able citizens and accelerate the development of the tools to bring this ep!dem*c under control,” said the Gates Foundation’s CEO Suzma.
This Article First Published On FORTUNE