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Can Bill Gates Vaccinate the World?

How the Microsoft founder is changing the way the world is vaccinated and, potentially, the course of the pandemic.

Hosted by Michael Barbaro; produced by Austin Mitchell, Rachelle Bonja and Leslye Davis; edited by M.J. Davis Lin; and engineered by Corey Schreppel.

March 3, 2021


Last year, Megan Twohey, a Times investigative reporter, turned her attention to vaccines. While she was digging, one name cropped up again and again: Bill Gates.

The Microsoft founder has played an integral role in the vaccine world for decades, and his entry into the fray in the 1990s helped revolutionize the market.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Mr. Gates was the most powerful and provocative private individual operating within global public health.

Today, we speak to Megan and Nicholas Kulish, a Times enterprise correspondent, about the role Mr. Gates has played in public health and his latest mission: procuring Covid-19 vaccines for countries in the developing world.


Can Bill Gates Vaccinate the World? 13

Megan Twohey, an investigative reporter for The New York Times.

Can Bill Gates Vaccinate the World? 14

Nicholas Kulish, an enterprise correspondent covering philanthropy, wealth and nonprofits for The Times.

Mamadou Samba, a top Ivory Coast health official, receiving a Covid-19 vaccine on Monday. The country is one of the first to benefit from such vaccines funded by the Covax system.
Credit…Legnan Koula/EPA, via Shutterstock
  • Bill Gates is working with the World Health Organization, drugmakers and nonprofits to tackle the coronavirus globally, including in the world’s poorest nations. Can they do it?

  • An operation to supply billions of vaccine doses to poorer countries got underway last week. But as rich countries buy most of the available supply, stark inequalities remain.

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Megan Twohey and Nicholas Kulish contributed reporting.

The Daily is made by Theo Balcomb, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Alix Spiegel, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano and Soraya Shockley.

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