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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Gates, Bill and Melinda, Foundation"

Warren Buffett Gives $2.9 Billion to Charity

Westlake Legal Group 08warren-buffett-donations-facebookJumbo Warren Buffett Gives $2.9 Billion to Charity Philanthropy Gates, Bill and Melinda, Foundation Gates, Bill Buffett, Warren E Buffett, Susan Thompson, Foundation Berkshire Hathaway Inc

Warren E. Buffett announced on Wednesday that he donated $2.9 billion worth of stock to nonprofit groups, as the 89-year-old billionaire investor continues to follow through on his pledge to give away nearly all his fortune to philanthropic causes by the time he dies.

Mr. Buffett said in a statement that he had given shares in Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate that he has run for decades, to five organizations: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, the nonprofit named for his late wife; and three groups founded by his children, Howard, Peter and Susie.

It was his 15th annual donation since 2006. Over that time, he has given about $37 billion worth of Berkshire stock, as measured by the value of the shares when they were donated. The stock that Mr. Buffett still holds is worth around $67 billion.

Mr. Buffett and Mr. Gates founded the Giving Pledge, a nonprofit that encourages fellow tycoons to promise to give away at least half of their wealth over their lifetimes.

That Mr. Buffett has given money to Mr. Gates is no surprise: The two are close friends, with Mr. Gates sitting on Berkshire’s board — and serving as a regular bridge partner to Mr. Buffett. Among the Gates Foundation’s philanthropic focuses is the coronavirus; it has poured money into development of Covid-19 vaccines and paid to help distribute them to poorer countries.

One criticism that has dogged Mr. Buffett’s philanthropic giving is whether the donations are designed to generate personal tax benefits. In Wednesday’s announcement, he argued that the tax benefits had been modest: For every $1,000 in contributions, he has been able to reduce his federal and state income taxes by 43 cents.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump suggested that Mr. Buffett took big deductions, by way of explaining his own use of tax breaks. In response, Mr. Buffett issued a statement detailing the $1.8 million in federal taxes that he paid the year before.

In his latest letter to Berkshire shareholders, Mr. Buffett noted that the company paid $3.6 billion in federal taxes last year, amounting to 1.5 percent of all income tax paid by corporate America in 2019.

As a condition of his donations, Mr. Buffett urges beneficiaries to cash in the stock and spend the money “in a prompt manner,” and avoid stashing the money away in endowments. After his death, he intends for his remaining shares to be donated within 12 years.

In his statement, Mr. Buffett took pains to emphasize one additional point: He has not sold a share of Berkshire, nor does he intend to do so.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

In Poor Countries, Many Covid-19 Patients Are Desperate for Oxygen

As the coronavirus pandemic hits more impoverished countries with fragile health care systems, global health authorities are scrambling for supplies of a simple treatment that saves lives: oxygen.

Many patients severely ill with Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, require help with breathing at some point. But now the epidemic is spreading rapidly in South Asia, Latin America and parts of Africa, regions of the world where many hospitals are poorly equipped and lack the ventilators, tanks and other equipment necessary to save patients whose lungs are failing.

The World Health Organization is hoping to raise $250 million to increase oxygen delivery to those regions. The World Bank and the African Union are contributing to the effort, and some medical charities are seeking donations for the cause.

By a stroke of luck, the W.H.O., UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2017 began searching for ways to increase oxygen delivery in poor and middle-income countries — not in anticipation of a pandemic, but because oxygen can save the lives of premature infants and children with pneumonia.

The organizations began ordering equipment in January, but within weeks suppliers were swamped by the sudden surge in demand created by the pandemic.

Although the machinery needed to generate oxygen is relatively simple, it must be sturdy enough to withstand the dust, humidity and other hazards common in rural hospitals in poor countries. Some companies produce relatively rugged equipment, but prices are rising and restrictions on international flights are complicating deliveries.

The machines cannot come too soon, doctors working in the field said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_171607428_03894edc-74a7-4f6c-8e55-6c3ce3d5d8ef-articleLarge In Poor Countries, Many Covid-19 Patients Are Desperate for Oxygen World Health Organization Ventilators (Medical) United Nations Children's Fund United Nations UNAIDS Third World and Developing Countries South Asia Rural Areas Public-Private Sector Cooperation Poverty Philanthropy Oxygen Nigeria Lungs Latin America hospitals Government Contracts and Procurement Gates, Bill and Melinda, Foundation Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Congo, Democratic Republic of (Congo-Kinshasa) Africa
Credit…Eloisa Lopez/Reuters

In May, the Alliance for International Medical Action, or Alima, treated 123 Covid-19 patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo, said Dr. Baweye Mayoum Barka, the charity’s representative in Kinshasa, the country’s capital. Fifty-six of them needed oxygen, but not enough equipment was available.

“So, unfortunately, there were 26 deaths, 70 percent of them in less than 24 hours,” Dr. Barka said. “I can’t say they were all from a lack of oxygen, but it played a role.”

Alima needs 40 oxygen concentrators, which filter oxygen from the air, but the agency has just eight, he said. Because it is hard to move patients from one hospital to another, some die waiting, gasping for air.

In Congo, many Covid-19 patients arrive at hospitals with critically low blood oxygen levels — sometimes as low as 60 percent, a level at which patients must normally be put on a ventilator to survive. (Normal oxygen saturation levels are 95 percent or more.)

One such patient was a doctor who had for a while refused to go to the hospital and instead stayed home, taking chloroquine, which is still in Congo’s national treatment guidelines.

“Then, when his condition deteriorated and he did come, just as he was nearing the Covid building, he developed convulsions,” Dr. Barka recalled. “They stopped to give him a drug for them, and he died just at the gate.”

Nigeria is also grappling with an oxygen shortage, said Dr. Sanjana Bhardwaj, UNICEF’s chief of health there. Since May, hospitals in Lagos and Kano have seen a steady stream of older patients with Covid-19 symptoms who need oxygen.

In nearly every country the virus has hit, rich or poor, about 15 percent of all symptomatic patients develop pneumonia severe enough to require extra oxygen, the W.H.O. estimates, but not so dire that they must be put on a ventilator.

Ventilators are rare in poor countries; they can cost up to $50,000, and patients must be heavily sedated the whole time the breathing tube is lodged deep in their airways; also, the pressure must be constantly monitored to prevent lung damage. That requires anesthesiologists and trained respiratory technicians, positions that many hospitals lack.

Credit…Sylvain Cherkaoui/Alima

Oxygen can be delivered in two ways. Tanks contain nearly pure oxygen. For patients who need large volumes and help keeping the air sacs in their lungs open, tanks can deliver oxygen at high pressure through a mask strapped tightly over the nose and mouth.

But tanks are heavy, must be refilled at central stations and delivered by truck, and they pose some risk of explosion and fire. While many poor countries have plants making industrial-grade oxygen for construction jobs like welding, it cannot be used on patients because the tanks often contain rust or oily water that could lodge in the lungs, said Paul Molinaro, chief of operations support and logistics at the W.H.O.

An alternative is an oxygen concentrator, which is usually the size of a suitcase or even a briefcase. Concentrators pull oxygen out of ambient air by forcing it under pressure through a “molecular sieve” filled with the mineral zeolite, which adsorbs nitrogen.

Most concentrators cost only $1,000 to $2,000. They need electricity but can run on a generator or batteries, using about as much power as a small refrigerator.

Typically concentrators can produce about 90 percent pure oxygen. They do not deliver it under pressure, but the thin tube through which the oxygen streams can be connected to a continuous positive airway pressure machine, or CPAP, to enrich the air it blows into the lungs.

Alima has started a campaign, “Oxygen for Africa,” to raise money to send about 500 concentrators to six poor countries, Jennifer Lazuta, a spokeswoman, said.

UNICEF has ordered about 16,000 concentrators for about 90 countries, but thus far has been able to deliver only about 700, said Jonathan Howard-Brand, an innovation specialist at UNICEF’s procurement center in Copenhagen.

The W.H.O. has ordered another 14,000, of which 2,000 have been delivered and 2,000 are in transit, Mr. Molinaro said.

Credit…UNICEF

He and Mr. Howard-Brand described severe delivery problems created by the epidemic, including delays of up to five weeks. When possible, the aid agencies ship through the World Food Program, which has dozens of planes. But the concentrators must compete for space with shipments of food, personal protective gear and other lifesaving goods.


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated June 22, 2020

    • Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?

      A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.

    • I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

    • What is pandemic paid leave?

      The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


Also, some countries are far from cargo hub cities, while others restrict all flights, even those containing aid, for fear of the virus being introduced.

“We need more planes in the air,” Mr. Howard-Brand said.

UNICEF is also buying tens of thousands of pulse oximeters, fingertip devices to measure blood-oxygen saturation.

In deciding how much equipment to buy, the aid agencies are, to some extent, flying blind. As New York State learned when it was desperately collecting ventilators in March, how great the need will be is unpredictable.

Credit…Raul Sifuentes/Getty Images

The agencies seek advice from other aid personnel in each country to estimate how much equipment is needed, Mr. Molinaro said. If he had more money and time, he added, he would concentrate on ways to increase supplies of tanked oxygen, which is dangerous to ship and so must be produced on site.

In recent years, some public-private partnerships have sprung up to do that. In East Africa, for example, an aid organization, Assist International, set out several years ago to break local corporate monopolies producing medical oxygen that many public hospitals in Africa could not afford.

With equipment supplied by the GE Foundation and money from Grand Challenges Canada and other donors, Assist now has a network of oxygen-making plants in Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia.

The U.N.’s oxygen-concentrator procurement effort, begun in April, was a natural extension of the U.N.’s Oxygen Therapy Project, which began in 2017 with Gates Foundation support in an effort to save babies and children.

By January, the project had found four manufacturers — two in China and two in the United States — whose machines could stand up to harsh conditions and which could add voltage stabilizers to prevent damage from power spikes, which are common in the electrical systems of poor countries and anywhere that relies on generators for power.

The agencies were just beginning to place orders when the pandemic began.

“Our timing was immaculate,” said Mr. Howard-Brand, who helped write the specifications for the new machines. “Now maybe the market will open up.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Global Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine Intensifies

Westlake Legal Group 02dc-virus-vaccine-facebookJumbo Global Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine Intensifies Vaccination and Immunization United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Remdesivir (Drug) Moderna Inc Johnson&Johnson International Relations Gates, Bill and Melinda, Foundation Gates, Bill Food and Drug Administration Fauci, Anthony S Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Caplan, Arthur L

WASHINGTON — Four months after a mysterious new virus began its deadly march around the globe, the search for a vaccine has taken on an intensity never before seen in medical research, with huge implications for public health, the world economy and politics.

Seven of the roughly 90 projects being pursued by governments, pharmaceutical makers, biotech innovators and academic laboratories have reached the stage of clinical trials. With political leaders — not least President Trump — increasingly pressing for progress, and with big potential profits at stake for the industry, drug makers and researchers have signaled that they are moving ahead at unheard-of speeds.

But the whole enterprise remains dogged by uncertainty about whether any coronavirus vaccine will prove effective, how fast it could be made available to millions or billions of people and whether the rush — compressing a process that can take 10 years into 10 months — will sacrifice safety.

Some experts say the more immediately promising field might be the development of treatments to speed recovery from Covid-19, an approach that has generated some optimism in the last week through initially encouraging research results on remdesivir, an antiviral drug previously tried in fighting Ebola.

In an era of intense nationalism, the geopolitics of the vaccine race are growing as complex as the medicine. The months of mutual vilification between the United States and China over the origins of the virus have poisoned most efforts at cooperation between them. The U.S. government is already warning that American innovations must be protected from theft — chiefly from Beijing.

“Biomedical research has long been a focus of theft, especially by the Chinese government, and vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus are today’s holy grail,” John C. Demers, the assistant attorney general for national security, said on Friday. “Putting aside the commercial value, there would be great geopolitical significance to being the first to develop a treatment or vaccine. We will use all the tools we have to safeguard American research.”

The intensity of the global research effort is such that governments and companies are building production lines before they have anything to produce.

“We are going to start ramping up production with the companies involved,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the federal government’s top expert on infectious diseases, said on NBC this week. “You don’t wait until you get an answer before you start manufacturing.”

Two of the leading entrants in the United States, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, have announced partnerships with manufacturing firms, with Johnson & Johnson promising a billon doses of an as-yet-undeveloped vaccine by the end of next year.

Not to be left behind, the Britain-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said this week that it was working with a vaccine development project at the University of Oxford to manufacture tens of millions of doses by the end of this year.

With the demand for a vaccine so intense, there are escalating calls for “human-challenge trials” to speed the process: tests in which volunteers are injected with a potential vaccine and then deliberately exposed to the coronavirus.

Because the approach involves exposing participants to a potentially deadly disease, challenge trials are ethically fraught. But they could be faster than simply inoculating human subjects and waiting for them to be exposed along with everyone else, especially as the pandemic is brought under control in big countries.

Even when promising solutions are found, there are big challenges to scaling up production and distribution. Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, whose foundation is spending $250 million to help spur vaccine development, has warned about a critical shortage of a mundane but vital component: medical glass.

Without sufficient supplies of the glass, there will be too few vials to transport the billions of doses that will ultimately be needed.

The scale of the problem and the demand for a quick solution are bound to create tensions between the profit motives of the pharmaceutical industry, which typically fights hard to wring the most out of their investments in new drugs, and the public’s need for quick action to get any effective vaccines to as many people as possible.

So far, much of the research and development has been supported by governments and foundations. And much remains to be worked out when it comes to patents and what national governments will claim in return for their support and pledges of quick regulatory approval.

Given the stakes, it is no surprise that while scientists and doctors talk about finding a “global vaccine,” national leaders emphasize immunizing their own populations first. Mr. Trump said he was personally in charge of “Operation Warp Speed” to get 300 million doses into American arms by January.

Already, the administration has identified 14 vaccine projects it intends to focus on, a senior administration official said, with the idea of further narrowing the group to a handful that could go on, with government financial help and accelerated regulatory review, to meet Mr. Trump’s goal. The winnowing of the projects to 14 was reported Friday by NBC News.

But other countries are also signaling their intention to nationalize their approaches. The most promising clinical trial in China is financed by the government. And in India, the chief executive of the Serum Institute of India — the world’s largest producer of vaccine doses — said that most of its vaccine “would have to go to our countrymen before it goes abroad.”

George Q. Daley, the dean of Harvard Medical School, said thinking in country-by-country rather than global terms would be foolhardy since it “would involve squandering the early doses of vaccine on a large number of individuals at low risk, rather than covering as many high-risk individuals globally” — health care workers and older adults — “to stop the spread” around the world.

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Given the proliferation of vaccine projects, the best outcome may be none of them emerging as a clear winner.

“Let’s say we get one vaccine quickly but we can only get two million doses of it at the end of next year,” said Anita Zaidi, who directs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s vaccine development program. “And another vaccine, just as effective, comes three months later but we can make a billion doses. Who won that race?”

The answer, she said, “is we will need many different vaccines to cross the finish line.”

At 1 a.m. on March 21, 1963, a 5-year-old girl named Jeryl Lynn Hilleman woke up her father. She had come down with the mumps, which had made her miserable with a swollen jaw.

It just so happened that her father, Maurice, was a vaccine designer. So he told Jeryl Lynn to go back to bed, drove to his lab at Merck to pick up some equipment, and returned to swab her throat. Dr. Hilleman refrigerated her sample back at his lab and soon got to work weakening her viruses until they could serve as a mumps vaccine. In 1967, it was approved by the F.D.A.

To vaccine makers, this story is the stuff of legend. Dr. Hilleman still holds the record for the quickest delivery of a vaccine from the lab to the clinic. Vaccines typically take ten to fifteen years of research and testing. And only six percent of the projects that scientists launch reach the finish line.

For a world in the grips of Covid-19, on the other hand, this story is the stuff of nightmares. No one wants to wait four years for a vaccine, while millions die and economies remain paralyzed.

Some of the leading contenders for a coronavirus vaccine are now promising to have the first batches ready in record time, by the start of next year. They have accelerated their schedules by collapsing the standard vaccine timeline.

They are combining trials that used to be carried out one after the other. They are pushing their formulations into production, despite the risk that the trials will fail, leaving them with millions of useless doses.

But some experts want to do even more to speed up the conveyor belt. Writing last month in the journal Vaccines, the vaccine developer Dr. Stanley A. Plotkin and Dr. Arthur L. Caplan, a bioethicist at NYU Langone Medical Center, proposed infecting vaccinated volunteers with the coronavirus — the method known as challenge trials. The procedure might cut months or years off the development but would put test subjects at risk.

Challenge trials were used in the early days of vaccine research but now are carried out under strict conditions and only for illnesses, like flu and malaria, that have established treatments.

In an article in March in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, a team of researchers wrote, “Such an approach is not without risks, but every week that vaccine rollout is delayed will be accompanied by many thousands of deaths globally.”

Dr. Caplan said that limiting the trials to healthy young adults could reduce the risk, since they were less likely to suffer serious complications from Covid-19. “I think we can let people make the choice and I have no doubt many would,” he said.

In Congress, Representative Bill Foster, Democrat of Illinois and a physicist, and Representative Donna E. Shalala, Democrat of Florida and the former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, organized a bipartisan group of 35 lawmakers to sign a letter asking regulators to approve such trials.

The organizers of a website set up to promote the idea, 1daysooner.org, say they have signed up more than 9,100 potential volunteers from 52 countries.

Some scientists caution that truly informed consent, even by willing volunteers, may not be possible. Even medical experts do not yet know all the effects of the virus. Those who have appeared to recover might still face future problems.

Even without challenge trials, accelerated testing may run the risk of missing potential side effects. A vaccine for dengue fever, and one for SARS that never reached the market, were abandoned after making some people more susceptible to severe forms of the diseases, not less.

“It will be extremely important to determine that does not happen,” said Michel De Wilde, a former senior vice president of research and development at Sanofi Pasteur, a vaccine maker in France.

When it comes to the risks from flawed vaccines, China’s history is instructive.

The Wuhan Institute of Biological Products was involved in a 2018 scandal in which ineffective vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and other conditions were injected into hundreds of thousands of babies.

The government confiscated the Wuhan institute’s “illegal income,” fined the company, and punished nine executives. But the company was allowed to continue to operate. It is now running a coronavirus vaccine project, and along with two other Chinese groups has been allowed to combine its safety and efficacy trials.

Several Chinese scientists questioned the decision, arguing that the vaccine should be shown to be safe before testing how well it works.

In the early days of the crisis, Harvard was approached by the Chinese billionaire Hui Ka Yan. He arranged to give roughly $115 million to be split between Harvard Medical School and its affiliated hospitals and the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases for a collaborative effort that would include developing coronavirus vaccines.

“We are not racing against each other, we are racing the virus,” said Dr. Dan Barouch, the director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a professor at Harvard Medical School who is also working with Johnson & Johnson. “What we need is a global vaccine — because an outbreak in one part of the world puts the rest of the world at risk.”

That all-for-one sentiment has become a mantra among many researchers, but it is hardly universally shared.

In India, the Serum Institute — the heavyweight champion of vaccine manufacturing, producing 1.5 billion doses a year — has signed agreements in recent weeks with the developers of four promising potential vaccines. But in an interview with Reuters, Adar Poonawalla, the company’s billionaire chief executive, made it clear that “at least initially” any vaccine the company produces would have to go to India’s 1.3 billion people.

The tension between those who believe a vaccine should go where it is needed most and those dealing with pressures to supply their own country first is one of the defining features of the global response.

The Trump administration, which in March put out feelers to a German biotech company to acquire its vaccine research or move it to American shores, has awarded grants of nearly half a billion dollars each to two U.S.-based companies, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna.

Johnson & Johnson, though based in New Jersey, conducts its research in the Netherlands.

Paul Stoffels, the company’s vice chairman and chief scientific officer, said in an interview that the Department of Health and Human Services understood “we can’t pick up our research and move it” to the United States. But it made sure that the company joined a partnership with Emergent BioSolutions — a Maryland biological production firm — to produce the first big batches of any approved vaccine for the U.S.

“The political reality is that it be would very, very hard for any government to allow a vaccine made in their own country to be exported while there was a major problem at home,” said Sandy Douglas, a researcher at the University of Oxford. “The only solution is to make a hell of a lot of vaccine in a lot of different places.”

The Oxford vaccine team has already begun scaling up plans for manufacturing by half a dozen companies across the world, including China and India, plus two British manufacturers and the British-based multinational AstraZeneca.

In China, the government’s instinct is to showcase the country’s growth into a technological power capable of beating the United States. There are nine Chinese Covid-19 vaccines in development, involving 1,000 scientists and the Chinese military.

China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention predicted that one of the vaccines could be in “emergency use” by September, meaning that in the midst of the presidential election in the United States, Mr. Trump might see television footage of Chinese citizens lining up for injections.

“It’s a scenario we have thought about,” one member of Mr. Trump’s coronavirus task force said. “No one wants to be around that day.”

The more than 90 different vaccines under development work in radically different ways. Some are based on designs used for generations. Others use genetic-based strategies that are so new they have yet to lead to an approved vaccine.

“I think in this case it’s very wise to have different platforms being tried out,” Dr. De Wilde said.

The traditional approach is to make vaccines from viruses.

When our bodies encounter a new virus, they start learning how to make effective antibodies against it. But they are in a race against the virus as it multiplies. Sometimes they produce effective antibodies quickly enough to wipe out an infection. But sometimes the virus wins.

Vaccines give the immune system a head start. They teach it to make antibodies in advance of an infection.

The first vaccines, against diseases like smallpox and rabies, were made from viruses. Scientists weakened the viruses so that they could no longer make people sick.

A number of groups are weakening the coronavirus to produce a vaccine against Covid-19. In April, the Chinese company Sinovac announced that their inactivated vaccine protected monkeys.

Another approach is based on the fact that our immune system makes antibodies that lock precisely onto viruses. As scientists came to understand this, it occurred to them that they didn’t have to inject a whole virus into someone to trigger immunity. All they needed was to deliver the fragment of a viral protein that was the precise target.

Today these so-called subunit viral vaccines are used against hepatitis C and shingles. Many Covid-19 subunit vaccines are now in testing.

In the 1990s, researchers began working on vaccines that enlisted our own cells to help train the immune system. The foundation of these vaccines is typically a virus called an adenovirus. The adenovirus can infect our cells, but is altered so that it doesn’t make us sick.

Scientists can add a gene to the adenovirus from the virus they want to fight, creating what’s known as a viral vector. Some viral vectors then invade our cells, stimulating the immune system to make antibodies.

Researchers at the University of Oxford and the Chinese company CanSino Biologics have created a viral vector vaccine for Covid-19, and they’ve started safety trials on volunteers. Others including Johnson & Johnson are going to launch trials of their own in the coming months.

Some groups, including the American company Inovio Pharmaceuticals, are taking a totally different approach. Instead of injecting viruses or protein fragments, they’re injecting pure DNA, which can be put through a process that yields the viral protein. When immune cells encounter the protein, they learn to make antibodies to it.

Other teams are creating RNA molecules rather than DNA. Moderna and a group at Imperial College London have launched safety trials for RNA vaccines. While experimental, these genetic vaccines can be quickly designed and tested.

It is one thing to design a vaccine in record time. It is an entirely different challenge to manufacture and distribute one on a scale never before attempted — billions of doses, specially packaged and transported at below-zero temperatures, to nearly every corner of the world.

“If you want to give a vaccine to a billion people, it better be very safe and very effective,” said Dr. Stoffels of Johnson & Johnson. “But you also need to know how to make it in amounts we’ve never really seen before.”

So the race is on to get ahead of the enormous logistical issues, from basic manufacturing capacity to the shortages of medical glass and stoppers that Mr. Gates and others have warned of.

Researchers at Johnson & Johnson are looking for a way to make a five-dose vial to save precious glass. Whether that can be successful depends on whether tests show that a smaller dose will be enough for a successful inoculation.

Each potential vaccine will require its own customized production process in special “clean” facilities for drug making. Building from scratch might cost tens of millions of dollars per plant. Equipping one existing facility could easily cost from $5 million to $20 million. Ordering and installing the necessary equipment can take months.

Governments as well as organizations like the Gates Foundation and the nonprofit Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations are putting up money for production facilities well before any particular vaccine is proven effective.

What’s more, some vaccines — including those being tested by the American companies Moderna and Inovio — rely on technology that has never before yielded a drug that was licensed for use or mass-produced.

But even traditional processes face challenges.

Because of staff illnesses and social distancing, the pandemic this spring slashed productivity by 20 percent at the MilleporeSigma facility in Danvers, Mass., that supplies many drug makers with the equipment used for brewing vaccines.

Then, about three weeks ago, the first clinical trials for new proposed vaccines started. Urgent calls poured from customers around the world. Even before the first phase of the first trials, manufacturers were scrambling.

“Demand went through the roof, and everybody wanted it yesterday,” said Udit Batra, MilleporeSigma’s chief executive, who has expanded production and asked other customers to accept delays to avoid becoming a bottleneck.

Even as the world waits for a vaccine, a potential treatment for coronavirus is already here — and more could be on the way.

Remdesivir showed modest success in a federally funded clinical trial, slowing the progression of the disease in some patients. It is currently approved only for severely ill patients and the trial did not show that it would significantly reduce fatality rates.

The F.D.A.’s decision to allow its use comes as hundreds of other drugs — mainly existing medicines that are being used for other conditions — are being tested around the world to see if they hold promise. The F.D.A. said there are currently 72 therapies in trial.

Studies of drugs tend to move more quickly than vaccine trials. Vaccines are given to millions of people who are not yet ill, so they must be extremely safe. But in sicker people, that calculus changes, and side effects might be an acceptable risk.

As a result, clinical trials can be conducted with fewer people. And because drugs are tested in people who are already sick, results can be seen more quickly than in vaccine trials, where researchers must wait to see who gets infected.

Public health experts have cautioned there will likely be no magic pill. Rather, they are hoping for incremental advances that make Covid-19 less deadly.

“Almost nothing is 100 percent, especially when you are dealing with a virus that really creates a lot of havoc in the body,” said Dr. Luciana Borio, a former director of medical and biodefense preparedness for the National Security Council under President Trump.

Antiviral drugs like remdesivir battle the virus itself, slowing its replication in the body.

The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine — which has been enthusiastically promoted by Mr. Trump and also received emergency authorization to be used in coronavirus patients — showed early promise in the laboratory. However, the small, limited studies of hydroxychloroquine in humans have so far been disappointing.

Many in the medical community are closely watching the development of antibody drugs that could act to neutralize the virus, either once someone is already sick or as a way of blocking the infection in the first place.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former F.D.A. commissioner, and others said that by the fall, the treatment picture for Covid-19 could look more hopeful.

If proven effective in further trials, remdesivir may become more widely used. One or two antibody treatments may also become available, providing limited protection to health care workers.

Even without a vaccine, Dr. Borio said, a handful of early treatments could make a difference. “If you can protect people that are vulnerable and you can treat people that come down with the disease effectively,” she said, “then I think it will change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

David E. Sanger reported from Washington, David D. Kirkpatrick from London, Carl Zimmer and Katie Thomas from New York and Sui-Lee Wee from Singapore. Denise Grady and Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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Bill Gates, at Odds With Trump on Virus, Becomes a Right-Wing Target

Westlake Legal Group 17virus-gates-facebookJumbo Bill Gates, at Odds With Trump on Virus, Becomes a Right-Wing Target Vaccination and Immunization United States Politics and Government Social Media Rumors and Misinformation Philanthropy News and News Media Gates, Bill and Melinda, Foundation Gates, Bill Fringe Groups and Movements Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Computers and the Internet

In a 2015 speech, Bill Gates warned that the greatest risk to humanity was not nuclear war but an infectious virus that could threaten the lives of millions of people.

That speech has resurfaced in recent weeks with 25 million new views on YouTube — but not in the way that Mr. Gates probably intended. Anti-vaccinators, members of the conspiracy group QAnon and right-wing pundits have instead seized on the video as evidence that one of the world’s richest men planned to use a pandemic to wrest control of the global health system.

Mr. Gates, 64, the Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist, has now become the star of an explosion of conspiracy theories about the coronavirus outbreak. In posts on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, he is being falsely portrayed as the creator of Covid-19, as a profiteer from a virus vaccine, and as part of a dastardly plot to use the illness to cull or surveil the global population.

The wild claims have gained traction with conservative pundits like Laura Ingraham and anti-vaccinators such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as Mr. Gates has emerged as a vocal counterweight to President Trump on the coronavirus. For weeks, Mr. Gates has appeared on TV, on op-ed pages and in Reddit forums calling for stay-at-home policies, expanded testing and vaccine development. And without naming Mr. Trump, he has criticized the president’s policies, including this week’s move to cut funding to the World Health Organization.

Misinformation about Mr. Gates is now the most widespread of all coronavirus falsehoods tracked by Zignal Labs, a media analysis company. The misinformation includes more than 16,000 posts on Facebook this year about Mr. Gates and the virus that were liked and commented on nearly 900,000 times, according to a New York Times analysis. On YouTube, the 10 most popular videos spreading lies about Mr. Gates posted in March and April were viewed almost five million times.

Mr. Gates, who is worth more than $100 billion, has effectively assumed the role occupied by George Soros, the billionaire financier and Democratic donor who has been a villain for the right. That makes Mr. Gates the latest individual — along with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading U.S. infectious disease expert — to be ensnared in the flow of right-wing punditry that has denigrated those who appear at odds with Mr. Trump on the virus.

“Bill Gates is easily transformed into a health-related meme and figure because he’s so well known,” said Whitney Phillips, an assistant professor at Syracuse University who teaches digital ethics. “He’s able to function as kind of an abstract boogeyman.”

Especially since Mr. Gates has sharpened his comments about the White House’s handling of the coronavirus in recent weeks.

“There’s no question the United States missed the opportunity to get ahead of the novel coronavirus,” he wrote in an opinion column in The Washington Post on March 31. “The choices we and our leaders make now will have an enormous impact on how soon case numbers start to go down, how long the economy remains shut down and how many Americans will have to bury a loved one because of Covid-19.”

Mark Suzman, chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Gates’s main philanthropic vehicle, said it was “distressing that there are people spreading misinformation when we should all be looking for ways to collaborate and save lives.”

Through a representative, Mr. Gates declined to interviewed.

The conspiracy theories about Mr. Gates may particularly damage what people think about a future coronavirus vaccine, said Claire Wardle, executive director of First Draft, an organization that fights online disinformation. She said the narratives “have the potential to kick off coordinated and sophisticated online campaigns that turn people against taking a virus vaccine.”

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YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, which also owns Instagram, said they were fighting coronavirus misinformation.

Mr. Gates, who founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975 and built it into a software behemoth, has largely devoted his time to philanthropic endeavors since he stepped back from the company in 2008. As of 2018, the Gates Foundation had a $46.8 billion endowment, making it one of the world’s largest private charitable organizations.

The foundation has worked to distribute vaccines in developing countries, advocated family planning through greater use of contraceptives and funded the development of genetically modified crops. Those efforts have prompted unfounded accusations that Mr. Gates was hurting the world’s poor with unnecessary drugs and harmful crops while trying to suppress the global population.

His disdain for Mr. Trump, whom he has met several times, has also become public. In 2018, footage surfaced of Mr. Gates recounting how Mr. Trump needed help distinguishing H.I.V., which refers to the human immunodeficiency virus and causes AIDS, from HPV, which is the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection.

“Both times he wanted to know if there was a difference between H.I.V. and HPV, so I was able to explain that those are rarely confused with each other,” Mr. Gates said to laughter in comments to his foundation.

In January, when the coronavirus began spreading, the Gates Foundation committed $10 million to helping medical workers in China and Africa. In February, Mr. Gates weighed in on the illness, warning in The New England Journal of Medicine that Covid-19 was behaving like a once-a-century pathogen.

In addition to writing the Washington Post op-ed, he called for more and equitable testing in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session last month. This month, Mr. Gates appeared on “The Daily Show” and said his foundation would fund factories for the seven most promising potential vaccines.

On Wednesday, the Gates Foundation said it would commit $250 million — up from an earlier pledge of $100 million — to slow the disease’s spread.

By then, falsehoods about Mr. Gates had taken off. The first mention of a baseless conspiracy connecting him to the outbreak was on Jan. 21, according to the Times analysis. That was when a YouTube personality linked to QAnon suggested on Twitter that Mr. Gates had foreknowledge of the pandemic. The tweet was based on a coronavirus-related patent from the Pirbright Institute, a British group that received funding from the Gates Foundation.

The patent was not for Covid-19; it was connected to a potential vaccine for a different coronavirus that affects poultry. But two days later, the conspiracy website Infowars inaccurately said the patent was for “the deadly virus.”

The idea spread. From February to April, conspiracy theories involving Mr. Gates and the virus were mentioned 1.2 million times on social media and television broadcasts, according to Zignal Labs. That was 33 percent more often, it said, than the next-largest conspiracy theory: that 5G radio waves cause people to succumb to Covid-19.

Some of the theories tapped into Mr. Gates’s acquaintance with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who was convicted of sex trafficking and committed suicide, saying a global elite had banded together to create the coronavirus.

In other theories, internet trolls twisted comments that Mr. Gates had made. In one, trolls said Mr. Gates, who had raised the idea of “digital certificates” to confirm who had the virus, wanted to surveil the population with microchip vaccination implants.

By April, false Gates conspiracy theories peaked at 18,000 mentions a day, Zignal Labs said.

The theories were amplified by people such as Mr. Kennedy, a son of former Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who campaigns against vaccines as a director of the Children’s Health Defense network. On his Instagram page, Mr. Kennedy has said Mr. Gates pushes vaccines to feed his other business interests.

On Tuesday, Mr. Kennedy posted a cartoon of a smiling Mr. Gates with a syringe and a caption: “Your Body, my choice.”

Mr. Kennedy, whose Instagram followers have doubled to more than 285,000 since March, said in an interview that he was telling the truth about the “terrible damage” that Mr. Gates had inflicted on the world with vaccines.

In an April 7 tweet, Ms. Ingraham, a Fox News host, shared a conspiracy theory about nefarious motives behind Mr. Gates’s call to track and identify who had received a Covid-19 vaccine. “Digitally tracking Americans’ every move has been a dream of the globalists for years,” she wrote.

Ms. Ingraham did not respond to a request for comment.

And Roger J. Stone Jr., the Trump confidant who was sentenced this year to 40 months in prison for felonies related to the 2016 Trump campaign, said in a radio interview this week reported by The New York Post that whether Mr. Gates “played some role in the creation and spread of this virus is open for vigorous debate.”

On Wednesday, after Mr. Gates said pulling funding to the World Health Organization was ill advised, the online reaction was swift. (The Gates Foundation funds the organization.)

One anti-vaccinator posted a poster of the movie “Kill Bill” on Instagram that read “Kill Bill Gates” and called for people to flood the comments on Mr. Gates’s Instagram account.

That same day, when Mr. Gates posted his thanks to health care workers, it received over 14,000 comments. One read: “This virus is a big, big lie.”

Michael H. Keller contributed reporting. Ben Decker contributed research.

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Bill Gates Met With Jeffrey Epstein Many Times, Despite His Past

Westlake Legal Group 00epgates1-facebookJumbo-v3 Bill Gates Met With Jeffrey Epstein Many Times, Despite His Past Summers, Lawrence H Sex Crimes Philanthropy Microsoft Corp JPMorgan Chase&Company Gates, Bill and Melinda, Foundation Gates, Bill Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Child Abuse and Neglect Andrew, Duke of York

Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who committed suicide in prison, managed to lure an astonishing array of rich, powerful and famous men into his orbit.

There were billionaires (Leslie Wexner and Leon Black), politicians (Bill Clinton and Bill Richardson), Nobel laureates (Murray Gell-Mann and Frank Wilczek) and even royals (Prince Andrew).

Few, though, compared in prestige and power to the world’s second-richest person, a brilliant and intensely private luminary: Bill Gates. And unlike many others, Mr. Gates started the relationship after Mr. Epstein was convicted of sex crimes.

Mr. Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, whose $100 billion-plus fortune has endowed the world’s largest charitable organization, has done his best to minimize his connections to Mr. Epstein. “I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him,” he told The Wall Street Journal last month.

In fact, beginning in 2011, Mr. Gates met with Mr. Epstein on numerous occasions — including at least three times at Mr. Epstein’s palatial Manhattan townhouse, and at least once staying late into the night, according to interviews with more than a dozen people familiar with the relationship, as well as documents reviewed by The New York Times.

Employees of Mr. Gates’s foundation also paid multiple visits to Mr. Epstein’s mansion. And Mr. Epstein spoke with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase about a proposed multibillion-dollar charitable fund — an arrangement that had the potential to generate enormous fees for Mr. Epstein.

“His lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me,” Mr. Gates emailed colleagues in 2011, after his first get-together with Mr. Epstein.

Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gates, said he “was referring only to the unique décor of the Epstein residence — and Epstein’s habit of spontaneously bringing acquaintances in to meet Mr. Gates.”

“It was in no way meant to convey a sense of interest or approval,” she said.

Over and over, Mr. Epstein managed to cultivate close relationships with some of the world’s most powerful men. He lured them with the whiff of money and the proximity to other powerful, famous or wealthy people — so much so that many looked past his reputation for sexual misconduct. And the more people he drew into his circle, the easier it was for him to attract others.

Mr. Gates and the $51 billion Gates Foundation have championed the well-being of young girls. By the time Mr. Gates and Mr. Epstein first met, Mr. Epstein had served jail time for soliciting prostitution from a minor and was required to register as a sex offender.

Ms. Arnold said that “high-profile people” had introduced Mr. Gates and Mr. Epstein and that they had met multiple times to discuss philanthropy.

“Bill Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognizes it was an error in judgment to do so,” Ms. Arnold said. “Gates recognizes that entertaining Epstein’s ideas related to philanthropy gave Epstein an undeserved platform that was at odds with Gates’s personal values and the values of his foundation.”

Two members of Mr. Gates’s inner circle — Boris Nikolic and Melanie Walker — were close to Mr. Epstein and at times functioned as intermediaries between the two men.

Ms. Walker met Mr. Epstein in 1992, six months after graduating from the University of Texas. Mr. Epstein, who was an adviser to Mr. Wexner, the owner of Victoria’s Secret, told Ms. Walker that he could land her an audition for a modeling job there, according to Ms. Walker. She later moved to New York and stayed in a Manhattan apartment building that Mr. Epstein owned. After she graduated from medical school, she said, Mr. Epstein hired her as a science adviser in 1998.

Ms. Walker later met Steven Sinofsky, a senior executive at Microsoft who became president of its Windows division, and moved to Seattle to be with him. In 2006, she joined the Gates Foundation with the title of senior program officer.

At the foundation, Ms. Walker met and befriended Mr. Nikolic, a native of what is now Croatia and a former fellow at Harvard Medical School who was the foundation’s science adviser. Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates frequently traveled and socialized together.

Ms. Walker, who had remained in close touch with Mr. Epstein, introduced him to Mr. Nikolic, and the men became friendly.

Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates first met face to face on the evening of Jan. 31, 2011, at Mr. Epstein’s townhouse on the Upper East Side. They were joined by Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, a former Miss Sweden whom Mr. Epstein had once dated, and her 15-year-old daughter. (Dr. Andersson-Dubin’s husband, the hedge fund billionaire Glenn Dubin, was a friend and business associate of Mr. Epstein’s. The Dubins declined to comment.)

The gathering started at 8 and lasted several hours, according to Ms. Arnold, Mr. Gates’s spokeswoman. Mr. Epstein subsequently boasted about the meeting in emails to friends and associates. “Bill’s great,” he wrote in one, reviewed by The Times.

Mr. Gates, in turn, praised Mr. Epstein’s charm and intelligence. Emailing colleagues the next day, he said: “A very attractive Swedish woman and her daughter dropped by and I ended up staying there quite late.”

Mr. Gates soon saw Mr. Epstein again. At a TED conference in Long Beach, Calif., attendees spotted the two men engaged in private conversation.

Later that spring, on May 3, 2011, Mr. Gates again visited Mr. Epstein at his New York mansion, according to emails about the meeting and a photograph reviewed by The Times.

The photo, taken in Mr. Epstein’s marble-clad entrance hall, shows a beaming Mr. Epstein — in blue-and-gold slippers and a fleece decorated with an American flag — flanked by luminaries. On his right: James E. Staley, at the time a senior JPMorgan executive, and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. On his left: Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates, smiling and wearing gray slacks and a navy sweater.

Around that time, the Gates Foundation and JPMorgan were teaming up to create the Global Health Investment Fund. Its goal was to provide “individual and institutional investors the opportunity to finance late-stage global health technologies that have the potential to save millions of lives in low-income countries.”

As the details of the fund were being hammered out, Mr. Staley told his JPMorgan colleagues that Mr. Epstein wanted to be brought into the discussions, according to two people familiar with the talks. Mr. Epstein was an important JPMorgan customer, holding millions of dollars in accounts at the bank and referring a procession of wealthy individuals to become clients of the company.

Mr. Epstein pitched an idea for a separate charitable fund to JPMorgan officials, including Mr. Staley, and to Mr. Gates’s adviser Mr. Nikolic. He envisioned a vast fund, seeded with the Gates Foundation’s money, that would focus on health projects around the world, according to five people involved in or briefed on the talks, including current and former Gates Foundation and JPMorgan employees. In addition to the Gates money, Mr. Epstein planned to round up donations from his wealthy friends and, hopefully, from JPMorgan’s richest clients.

Mr. Epstein thought he could personally benefit. He circulated a four-page proposal that included a suggestion that he be paid 0.3 percent of whatever money he raised, according to one person who saw the proposal. If Mr. Epstein had raised $10 billion, for example, that would have amounted to $30 million in fees.

Ms. Arnold said Mr. Gates and the foundation had been unaware that Mr. Epstein had been seeking any fee. She said Mr. Epstein “did propose to Bill Gates and then foundation officials ideas that he promised would unleash hundreds of billions for global health-related work.”

In late 2011, at Mr. Gates’s instruction, the foundation sent a team to Mr. Epstein’s townhouse to have a preliminary talk about philanthropic fund-raising, according to three people who were there. Mr. Epstein told his guests that if they searched his name on the internet they might conclude he was a bad person but that what he had done — soliciting prostitution from an underage girl — was no worse than “stealing a bagel,” two of the people said.

Some of the Gates Foundation employees said they had been unaware of Mr. Epstein’s criminal record and had been shocked to learn that the foundation was working with a sex offender. They worried that it could seriously damage the foundation’s reputation.

In early 2012, another Gates Foundation team met Mr. Epstein at his mansion. He claimed that he had access to trillions of dollars of his clients’ money that he could put in the proposed charitable fund — a figure so preposterous that it left his visitors doubting Mr. Epstein’s credibility.

Mr. Gates and Mr. Epstein kept seeing each other. Ms. Arnold would not say how many times the two had met.

In March 2013, Mr. Gates flew on Mr. Epstein’s Gulfstream plane from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach, Fla., according to a flight manifest. Ms. Arnold said Mr. Gates — who has his own $40 million jet — hadn’t been aware it was Mr. Epstein’s plane.

Six months later, Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates were in New York for a meeting related to Schrödinger, a pharmaceutical software company in which Mr. Gates had a large investment. On that trip, Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates met for dinner and discussed the Gates Foundation and philanthropy, Ms. Arnold said.

And in October 2014, Mr. Gates donated $2 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. University officials described the gift in internal emails as having been “directed” by Mr. Epstein. Ms. Arnold said, “There was no intention, nor explicit ask, for the funding to be controlled in any manner by Epstein.”

Soon after, the relationship between Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates appears to have cooled. The charitable fund that had been discussed with the Gates Foundation never materialized. Mr. Epstein complained to an acquaintance at the end of 2014 that Mr. Gates had stopped talking to him, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

The relationship, however, wasn’t entirely severed. At least two senior Gates Foundation officials maintained contacts with Mr. Epstein until late 2017, according to former foundation employees.

Ms. Arnold said the foundation was not aware of any such contact. “Over time, Gates and his team realized Epstein’s capabilities and ideas were not legitimate and all contact with Epstein was discontinued,” she said.

Days before Mr. Epstein hanged himself in a Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10, he amended his will and named Mr. Nikolic as a fallback executor in the event that one of the two primary executors was unable to serve. (Mr. Nikolic has declined in court proceedings to serve as executor.)

Mr. Nikolic, who is now running a venture capital firm with Mr. Gates as one of his investors, said he was “shocked” to be named in Mr. Epstein’s will. He said in a statement to The Times: “I deeply regret ever meeting Mr. Epstein.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Bill Gates Met With Jeffrey Epstein Many Times, Despite His Past

Westlake Legal Group 00epgates1-facebookJumbo-v3 Bill Gates Met With Jeffrey Epstein Many Times, Despite His Past Summers, Lawrence H Sex Crimes Philanthropy Microsoft Corp JPMorgan Chase&Company Gates, Bill and Melinda, Foundation Gates, Bill Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Child Abuse and Neglect Andrew, Duke of York

Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who committed suicide in prison, managed to lure an astonishing array of rich, powerful and famous men into his orbit.

There were billionaires (Leslie Wexner and Leon Black), politicians (Bill Clinton and Bill Richardson), Nobel laureates (Murray Gell-Mann and Frank Wilczek) and even royals (Prince Andrew).

Few, though, compared in prestige and power to the world’s second-richest person, a brilliant and intensely private luminary: Bill Gates. And unlike many others, Mr. Gates started the relationship after Mr. Epstein was convicted of sex crimes.

Mr. Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, whose $100 billion-plus fortune has endowed the world’s largest charitable organization, has done his best to minimize his connections to Mr. Epstein. “I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him,” he told The Wall Street Journal last month.

In fact, beginning in 2011, Mr. Gates met with Mr. Epstein on numerous occasions — including at least three times at Mr. Epstein’s palatial Manhattan townhouse, and at least once staying late into the night, according to interviews with more than a dozen people familiar with the relationship, as well as documents reviewed by The New York Times.

Employees of Mr. Gates’s foundation also paid multiple visits to Mr. Epstein’s mansion. And Mr. Epstein spoke with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase about a proposed multibillion-dollar charitable fund — an arrangement that had the potential to generate enormous fees for Mr. Epstein.

“His lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me,” Mr. Gates emailed colleagues in 2011, after his first get-together with Mr. Epstein.

Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gates, said he “was referring only to the unique décor of the Epstein residence — and Epstein’s habit of spontaneously bringing acquaintances in to meet Mr. Gates.”

“It was in no way meant to convey a sense of interest or approval,” she said.

Over and over, Mr. Epstein managed to cultivate close relationships with some of the world’s most powerful men. He lured them with the whiff of money and the proximity to other powerful, famous or wealthy people — so much so that many looked past his reputation for sexual misconduct. And the more people he drew into his circle, the easier it was for him to attract others.

Mr. Gates and the $51 billion Gates Foundation have championed the well-being of young girls. By the time Mr. Gates and Mr. Epstein first met, Mr. Epstein had served jail time for soliciting prostitution from a minor and was required to register as a sex offender.

Ms. Arnold said that “high-profile people” had introduced Mr. Gates and Mr. Epstein and that they had met multiple times to discuss philanthropy.

“Bill Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognizes it was an error in judgment to do so,” Ms. Arnold said. “Gates recognizes that entertaining Epstein’s ideas related to philanthropy gave Epstein an undeserved platform that was at odds with Gates’s personal values and the values of his foundation.”

Two members of Mr. Gates’s inner circle — Boris Nikolic and Melanie Walker — were close to Mr. Epstein and at times functioned as intermediaries between the two men.

Ms. Walker met Mr. Epstein in 1992, six months after graduating from the University of Texas. Mr. Epstein, who was an adviser to Mr. Wexner, the owner of Victoria’s Secret, told Ms. Walker that he could land her an audition for a modeling job there, according to Ms. Walker. She later moved to New York and stayed in a Manhattan apartment building that Mr. Epstein owned. After she graduated from medical school, she said, Mr. Epstein hired her as a science adviser in 1998.

Ms. Walker later met Steven Sinofsky, a senior executive at Microsoft who became president of its Windows division, and moved to Seattle to be with him. In 2006, she joined the Gates Foundation with the title of senior program officer.

At the foundation, Ms. Walker met and befriended Mr. Nikolic, a native of what is now Croatia and a former fellow at Harvard Medical School who was the foundation’s science adviser. Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates frequently traveled and socialized together.

Ms. Walker, who had remained in close touch with Mr. Epstein, introduced him to Mr. Nikolic, and the men became friendly.

Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates first met face to face on the evening of Jan. 31, 2011, at Mr. Epstein’s townhouse on the Upper East Side. They were joined by Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, a former Miss Sweden whom Mr. Epstein had once dated, and her 15-year-old daughter. (Dr. Andersson-Dubin’s husband, the hedge fund billionaire Glenn Dubin, was a friend and business associate of Mr. Epstein’s. The Dubins declined to comment.)

The gathering started at 8 and lasted several hours, according to Ms. Arnold, Mr. Gates’s spokeswoman. Mr. Epstein subsequently boasted about the meeting in emails to friends and associates. “Bill’s great,” he wrote in one, reviewed by The Times.

Mr. Gates, in turn, praised Mr. Epstein’s charm and intelligence. Emailing colleagues the next day, he said: “A very attractive Swedish woman and her daughter dropped by and I ended up staying there quite late.”

Mr. Gates soon saw Mr. Epstein again. At a TED conference in Long Beach, Calif., attendees spotted the two men engaged in private conversation.

Later that spring, on May 3, 2011, Mr. Gates again visited Mr. Epstein at his New York mansion, according to emails about the meeting and a photograph reviewed by The Times.

The photo, taken in Mr. Epstein’s marble-clad entrance hall, shows a beaming Mr. Epstein — in blue-and-gold slippers and a fleece decorated with an American flag — flanked by luminaries. On his right: James E. Staley, at the time a senior JPMorgan executive, and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. On his left: Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates, smiling and wearing gray slacks and a navy sweater.

Around that time, the Gates Foundation and JPMorgan were teaming up to create the Global Health Investment Fund. Its goal was to provide “individual and institutional investors the opportunity to finance late-stage global health technologies that have the potential to save millions of lives in low-income countries.”

As the details of the fund were being hammered out, Mr. Staley told his JPMorgan colleagues that Mr. Epstein wanted to be brought into the discussions, according to two people familiar with the talks. Mr. Epstein was an important JPMorgan customer, holding millions of dollars in accounts at the bank and referring a procession of wealthy individuals to become clients of the company.

Mr. Epstein pitched an idea for a separate charitable fund to JPMorgan officials, including Mr. Staley, and to Mr. Gates’s adviser Mr. Nikolic. He envisioned a vast fund, seeded with the Gates Foundation’s money, that would focus on health projects around the world, according to five people involved in or briefed on the talks, including current and former Gates Foundation and JPMorgan employees. In addition to the Gates money, Mr. Epstein planned to round up donations from his wealthy friends and, hopefully, from JPMorgan’s richest clients.

Mr. Epstein thought he could personally benefit. He circulated a four-page proposal that included a suggestion that he be paid 0.3 percent of whatever money he raised, according to one person who saw the proposal. If Mr. Epstein had raised $10 billion, for example, that would have amounted to $30 million in fees.

Ms. Arnold said Mr. Gates and the foundation had been unaware that Mr. Epstein had been seeking any fee. She said Mr. Epstein “did propose to Bill Gates and then foundation officials ideas that he promised would unleash hundreds of billions for global health-related work.”

In late 2011, at Mr. Gates’s instruction, the foundation sent a team to Mr. Epstein’s townhouse to have a preliminary talk about philanthropic fund-raising, according to three people who were there. Mr. Epstein told his guests that if they searched his name on the internet they might conclude he was a bad person but that what he had done — soliciting prostitution from an underage girl — was no worse than “stealing a bagel,” two of the people said.

Some of the Gates Foundation employees said they had been unaware of Mr. Epstein’s criminal record and had been shocked to learn that the foundation was working with a sex offender. They worried that it could seriously damage the foundation’s reputation.

In early 2012, another Gates Foundation team met Mr. Epstein at his mansion. He claimed that he had access to trillions of dollars of his clients’ money that he could put in the proposed charitable fund — a figure so preposterous that it left his visitors doubting Mr. Epstein’s credibility.

Mr. Gates and Mr. Epstein kept seeing each other. Ms. Arnold would not say how many times the two had met.

In March 2013, Mr. Gates flew on Mr. Epstein’s Gulfstream plane from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach, Fla., according to a flight manifest. Ms. Arnold said Mr. Gates — who has his own $40 million jet — hadn’t been aware it was Mr. Epstein’s plane.

Six months later, Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates were in New York for a meeting related to Schrödinger, a pharmaceutical software company in which Mr. Gates had a large investment. On that trip, Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates met for dinner and discussed the Gates Foundation and philanthropy, Ms. Arnold said.

And in October 2014, Mr. Gates donated $2 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. University officials described the gift in internal emails as having been “directed” by Mr. Epstein. Ms. Arnold said, “There was no intention, nor explicit ask, for the funding to be controlled in any manner by Epstein.”

Soon after, the relationship between Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates appears to have cooled. The charitable fund that had been discussed with the Gates Foundation never materialized. Mr. Epstein complained to an acquaintance at the end of 2014 that Mr. Gates had stopped talking to him, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

The relationship, however, wasn’t entirely severed. At least two senior Gates Foundation officials maintained contacts with Mr. Epstein until late 2017, according to former foundation employees.

Ms. Arnold said the foundation was not aware of any such contact. “Over time, Gates and his team realized Epstein’s capabilities and ideas were not legitimate and all contact with Epstein was discontinued,” she said.

Days before Mr. Epstein hanged himself in a Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10, he amended his will and named Mr. Nikolic as a fallback executor in the event that one of the two primary executors was unable to serve. (Mr. Nikolic has declined in court proceedings to serve as executor.)

Mr. Nikolic, who is now running a venture capital firm with Mr. Gates as one of his investors, said he was “shocked” to be named in Mr. Epstein’s will. He said in a statement to The Times: “I deeply regret ever meeting Mr. Epstein.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

A Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein That Bill Gates Now ‘Regrets’

Westlake Legal Group 00epgates1-facebookJumbo A Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein That Bill Gates Now ‘Regrets’ Summers, Lawrence H Sex Crimes Philanthropy Microsoft Corp JPMorgan Chase&Company Gates, Bill and Melinda, Foundation Gates, Bill Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Child Abuse and Neglect Andrew, Duke of York

Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who committed suicide in prison, managed to lure an astonishing array of rich, powerful and famous men into his orbit.

There were billionaires (Leslie Wexner and Leon Black), politicians (Bill Clinton and Bill Richardson), Nobel laureates (Murray Gell-Mann and Frank Wilczek) and even royals (Prince Andrew).

Few, though, compared in prestige and power to the world’s second-richest person, a brilliant and intensely private luminary: Bill Gates. And unlike many others, Mr. Gates started the relationship after Mr. Epstein was convicted of sex crimes.

Mr. Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, whose $100 billion-plus fortune has endowed the world’s largest charitable organization, has done his best to minimize his connections to Mr. Epstein. “I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him,” he told The Wall Street Journal last month.

In fact, beginning in 2011, Mr. Gates met with Mr. Epstein on numerous occasions — including at least three times at Mr. Epstein’s palatial Manhattan townhouse, and at least once staying late into the night, according to interviews with more than a dozen people familiar with the relationship, as well as documents reviewed by The New York Times.

Employees of Mr. Gates’s foundation also paid multiple visits to Mr. Epstein’s mansion. And Mr. Epstein spoke with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase about a proposed multibillion-dollar charitable fund — an arrangement that had the potential to generate enormous fees for Mr. Epstein.

“His lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me,” Mr. Gates emailed colleagues in 2011, after his first get-together with Mr. Epstein.

Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gates, said he “was referring only to the unique décor of the Epstein residence — and Epstein’s habit of spontaneously bringing acquaintances in to meet Mr. Gates.”

“It was in no way meant to convey a sense of interest or approval,” she said.

Over and over, Mr. Epstein managed to cultivate close relationships with some of the world’s most powerful men. He lured them with the whiff of money and the proximity to other powerful, famous or wealthy people — so much so that many looked past his reputation for sexual misconduct. And the more people he drew into his circle, the easier it was for him to attract others.

Mr. Gates and the $51 billion Gates Foundation have championed the well-being of young girls. By the time Mr. Gates and Mr. Epstein first met, Mr. Epstein had served jail time for soliciting prostitution from a minor and was required to register as a sex offender.

Ms. Arnold said that “high-profile people” had introduced Mr. Gates and Mr. Epstein and that they had met multiple times to discuss philanthropy.

“Bill Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognizes it was an error in judgment to do so,” Ms. Arnold said. “Gates recognizes that entertaining Epstein’s ideas related to philanthropy gave Epstein an undeserved platform that was at odds with Gates’s personal values and the values of his foundation.”

Two members of Mr. Gates’s inner circle — Boris Nikolic and Melanie Walker — were close to Mr. Epstein and at times functioned as intermediaries between the two men.

Ms. Walker met Mr. Epstein in 1992, six months after graduating from the University of Texas. Mr. Epstein, who was an adviser to Mr. Wexner, the owner of Victoria’s Secret, told Ms. Walker that he could land her an audition for a modeling job there, according to Ms. Walker. She later moved to New York and stayed in a Manhattan apartment building that Mr. Epstein owned. After she graduated from medical school, she said, Mr. Epstein hired her as a science adviser in 1998.

Ms. Walker later met Steven Sinofsky, a senior executive at Microsoft who became president of its Windows division, and moved to Seattle to be with him. In 2006, she joined the Gates Foundation with the title of senior program officer.

At the foundation, Ms. Walker met and befriended Mr. Nikolic, a native of what is now Croatia and a former fellow at Harvard Medical School who was the foundation’s science adviser. Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates frequently traveled and socialized together.

Ms. Walker, who had remained in close touch with Mr. Epstein, introduced him to Mr. Nikolic, and the men became friendly.

Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates first met face to face on the evening of Jan. 31, 2011, at Mr. Epstein’s townhouse on the Upper East Side. They were joined by Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, a former Miss Sweden whom Mr. Epstein had once dated, and her 15-year-old daughter. (Dr. Andersson-Dubin’s husband, the hedge fund billionaire Glenn Dubin, was a friend and business associate of Mr. Epstein’s. The Dubins declined to comment.)

The gathering started at 8 and lasted several hours, according to Ms. Arnold, Mr. Gates’s spokeswoman. Mr. Epstein subsequently boasted about the meeting in emails to friends and associates. “Bill’s great,” he wrote in one, reviewed by The Times.

Mr. Gates, in turn, praised Mr. Epstein’s charm and intelligence. Emailing colleagues the next day, he said: “A very attractive Swedish woman and her daughter dropped by and I ended up staying there quite late.”

Mr. Gates soon saw Mr. Epstein again. At a TED conference in Long Beach, Calif., attendees spotted the two men engaged in private conversation.

Later that spring, on May 3, 2011, Mr. Gates again visited Mr. Epstein at his New York mansion, according to emails about the meeting and a photograph reviewed by The Times.

The photo, taken in Mr. Epstein’s marble-clad entrance hall, shows a beaming Mr. Epstein — in blue-and-gold slippers and a fleece decorated with an American flag — flanked by luminaries. On his right: James E. Staley, at the time a senior JPMorgan executive, and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. On his left: Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates, smiling and wearing gray slacks and a navy sweater.

Around that time, the Gates Foundation and JPMorgan were teaming up to create the Global Health Investment Fund. Its goal was to provide “individual and institutional investors the opportunity to finance late-stage global health technologies that have the potential to save millions of lives in low-income countries.”

As the details of the fund were being hammered out, Mr. Staley told his JPMorgan colleagues that Mr. Epstein wanted to be brought into the discussions, according to two people familiar with the talks. Mr. Epstein was an important JPMorgan customer, holding millions of dollars in accounts at the bank and referring a procession of wealthy individuals to become clients of the company.

Mr. Epstein pitched an idea for a separate charitable fund to JPMorgan officials, including Mr. Staley, and to Mr. Gates’s adviser Mr. Nikolic. He envisioned a vast fund, seeded with the Gates Foundation’s money, that would focus on health projects around the world, according to five people involved in or briefed on the talks, including current and former Gates Foundation and JPMorgan employees. In addition to the Gates money, Mr. Epstein planned to round up donations from his wealthy friends and, hopefully, from JPMorgan’s richest clients.

Mr. Epstein thought he could personally benefit. He circulated a four-page proposal that included a suggestion that he be paid 0.3 percent of whatever money he raised, according to one person who saw the proposal. If Mr. Epstein had raised $10 billion, for example, that would have amounted to $30 million in fees.

Ms. Arnold said Mr. Gates and the foundation had been unaware that Mr. Epstein had been seeking any fee. She said Mr. Epstein “did propose to Bill Gates and then foundation officials ideas that he promised would unleash hundreds of billions for global health-related work.”

In late 2011, at Mr. Gates’s instruction, the foundation sent a team to Mr. Epstein’s townhouse to have a preliminary talk about philanthropic fund-raising, according to three people who were there. Mr. Epstein told his guests that if they searched his name on the internet they might conclude he was a bad person but that what he had done — soliciting prostitution from an underage girl — was no worse than “stealing a bagel,” two of the people said.

Some of the Gates Foundation employees said they had been unaware of Mr. Epstein’s criminal record and had been shocked to learn that the foundation was working with a sex offender. They worried that it could seriously damage the foundation’s reputation.

In early 2012, another Gates Foundation team met Mr. Epstein at his mansion. He claimed that he had access to trillions of dollars of his clients’ money that he could put in the proposed charitable fund — a figure so preposterous that it left his visitors doubting Mr. Epstein’s credibility.

Mr. Gates and Mr. Epstein kept seeing each other. Ms. Arnold would not say how many times the two had met.

In March 2013, Mr. Gates flew on Mr. Epstein’s Gulfstream plane from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach, Fla., according to a flight manifest. Ms. Arnold said Mr. Gates — who has his own $40 million jet — hadn’t been aware it was Mr. Epstein’s plane.

Six months later, Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates were in New York for a meeting related to Schrödinger, a pharmaceutical software company in which Mr. Gates had a large investment. On that trip, Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates met for dinner and discussed the Gates Foundation and philanthropy, Ms. Arnold said.

And in October 2014, Mr. Gates donated $2 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. University officials described the gift in internal emails as having been “directed” by Mr. Epstein. Ms. Arnold said, “There was no intention, nor explicit ask, for the funding to be controlled in any manner by Epstein.”

Soon after, the relationship between Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates appears to have cooled. The charitable fund that had been discussed with the Gates Foundation never materialized. Mr. Epstein complained to an acquaintance at the end of 2014 that Mr. Gates had stopped talking to him, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

The relationship, however, wasn’t entirely severed. At least two senior Gates Foundation officials maintained contacts with Mr. Epstein until late 2017, according to former foundation employees.

Ms. Arnold said the foundation was not aware of any such contact. “Over time, Gates and his team realized Epstein’s capabilities and ideas were not legitimate and all contact with Epstein was discontinued,” she said.

Days before Mr. Epstein hanged himself in a Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10, he amended his will and named Mr. Nikolic as a fallback executor in the event that one of the two primary executors was unable to serve. (Mr. Nikolic has declined in court proceedings to serve as executor.)

Mr. Nikolic, who is now running a venture capital firm with Mr. Gates as one of his investors, said he was “shocked” to be named in Mr. Epstein’s will. He said in a statement to The Times: “I deeply regret ever meeting Mr. Epstein.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com