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Bill and Melinda Gates’ annual letter blasts Trump’s respect for women

Bill and Melinda Gates’ annual letter blasts Trump’s respect for women


bill gates trump tower
Bill
Gates arriving at Trump Tower in New York City in
2016.

Reuters

  • In his annual letter, Bill Gates writes that President
    Donald Trump’s “America First” worldview concerns him.
  • He says Trump’s proposed cuts to foreign aid would hurt
    the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s efforts to fight
    diseases abroad before they become pandemics.
  • Melinda Gates adds that she wishes Trump would treat
    all people, especially women, with more respect.

In the latest annual letter
about their charitable work
, released Tuesday, Bill Gates and
his wife, Melinda (who’s also the cofounder of their foundation),
answered 10 frequently asked questions.

These questions delved into a range of topics, including
education, climate change, and the pair’s extensive philanthropic
efforts through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In the letter, Bill Gates said he had received more questions in
the past year related to President Donald Trump than all other
topics in the letter combined. Specifically, he answered the
question, “How are President Trump’s policies affecting your
foundation’s work?”

He wrote that Trump’s proposed cuts to foreign aid would impede
the foundation’s efforts toward fighting poverty, illness, and
hunger abroad.

“These efforts save lives. They also create US jobs,” Gates
wrote. “And they make Americans more secure by making poor
countries more stable and stopping disease outbreaks before they
become pandemics. The world is not a safer place when more people
are sick or hungry.”

Gates said that more broadly, Trump’s “America First” worldview
concerned him.

“It’s not that the United States shouldn’t look out for its
people,” he wrote. “The question is how best to do that. My view
is that engaging with the world has proven over time to benefit
everyone, including Americans, more than withdrawing does. Even
if we measured everything the government did only by how much it
helped American citizens, global engagement would still be a
smart investment.”

The Trump administration’s
proposed 2019 budget
includes a 29% slash ($17 billion) in
spending
for the State Department
and the United States Agency for
International Development. The proposal calls for increasing
military spending and maintaining foreign-aid levels for only one
country, Israel.

In 2017, foreign aid received bilateral support in Congress.

Gates has met with Trump and his team, he wrote, “because if the
US cuts back on its investment abroad, people in other countries
will die, and Americans will be worse off.”

Melinda Gates added that she wished Trump would treat all people,
especially women, with more respect and “model American values in
the world.”

“Equality is an important national principle,” she wrote. “The
sanctity of each individual, regardless of race, religion, sexual
orientation, or gender, is part of our country’s spirit. The
president has a responsibility to set a good example and empower
all Americans through his statements and his policies.”

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