“Why should it be him" is a question many people ask with more than just a little snark.

The Gates Foundation has been working hard in eastern and southern Africa for more than a decade to get people treated for HIV and to slow the crisis of HIV circulation there.

The impact has been remarkable. The Gates Foundation has brought in not just money but creative thinking and expertise, fostering collaboration within and among nations in the region.

It’s probably not hyperbole to suggest that the Foundation’s work has been critical in beginning to turn things around in a region absolutely devastated by HIV.

Even so, Bill Gates is vilified in many quarters for his HIV involvement — motives, strategies, and implementation criticized as if he were Satan incarnate.

I’m afraid this view is quite common in progressive circles, even leading to practical backlash against smart public health moves. This distresses me, because when nobody else would step up, The Gates Foundation swung the bat and made a powerful difference that is alleviating suffering.

I hope we don’t see similar backlash about their involvement with covid-19 vaccination programs. Whatever people feel about billionaires in general or Bill Gates specifically, I wish we could find it in our hearts to acknowledge the good that people do when they do it.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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