Bill Gates at Trump Tower in December 2016. Photo: Timothy A. Clary / AFP via Getty Images

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is meeting with President Trump today at the White House. Ahead of that meeting, he told Politico's Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman that he'll try to impress upon Trump how crucial foreign aid is to the U.S.'s longevity.

"I’ll take his framework … and I’ll explain that even within that narrow framework where you don’t take into account things like saving lives in Africa and the pure humanitarian benefit, even without that, this is money well spent."
— Gates at a Politico event
  • "I don't agree with the America First rhetoric," Gates said. Spending dollars to help other nations is ultimately beneficial to the U.S., he said. "Americans don't want to have pandemics, and Americans don't want to have to send soldiers to restore stability in Africa."
  • What Trump's saying: His message has been that it's time for the U.S. to stop spending money on foreign nations and start spending money at home. But foreign aid is less than 1% of the U.S. budget.
  • On Capitol Hill's role: “Congress allocates the money, and the private sector and science deliver most of the miracles … Those two need to work together … The world benefits immensely form that," said Gates.
  • On the Big Tech backlash: "There definitely is something that needs to be looked at [with social media companies and the spread of fake information]. But the actual solutions there are a little less clear."
  • How Gates spends his time: 2 or 3 days a month at Microsoft and the rest working on projects for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Deadly storm Zeta pummels parts of Alabama and Florida

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Former Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm's powerful winds and heavy rainfall moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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