Bill Gates at the 2019 New Economy Forum in Beijing, China, in November 2019. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

Bill Gates told the Financial Times in an interview that his foundation will focus all of its attention on the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to the $250 million in direct funding that it has already pledged.

Why it matters: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has an endowment of over $40 billion. Gates argues the power of its human resources and expertise will be far greater in fighting the pandemic than cash, but cautions that other public health work may suffer.

What he's saying: Gates expects global economic activity to be "greatly reduced" for years — possibly in the tens of trillions of dollars — and that drug campaigns to treat polio and measles will suffer as a result of the world's focus on the coronavirus.

  • “We’ve taken an organization that was focused on HIV and malaria and polio eradication and almost entirely shifted it to work on this,” Gates said. “This has the foundation’s total attention. Even our non-health related work, like higher education and K-12 [schools], is completely switched around to look at how you facilitate online learning.”
  • “This emergency has distracted a lot of critical work in many, many areas. Fewer people able to show up for routine immunization or supply chains for immunization not working well, that’s hundreds of thousands of deaths right there. If we can’t keep getting malaria treatments out effectively, that’s a huge rebound in malaria.”

Worth noting: Gates told the FT that he does not believe the Trump administration will ultimately withdraw funding from the World Health Organization, saying, “I think he will do deep analysis and decide that they probably should get more money, not less money."

Go deeper: Gates' brutal reality check on the coronavirus reopening

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Aug 4, 2020 - Health

UN head says global school closures could cause "generational catastrophe"

Students wear masks and face shields at school in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Sai Aung Main/AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has caused the largest disruption of education in history, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday, AP reports.

Why it matters: Over 1 billion students were affected by closures in more than 160 countries in mid-July. Guterres warned the situation could lead to "a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities."

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Trump: Coronavirus is "under control"

President Trump said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he thinks the coronavirus is as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, despite dramatic surges in new infections over the course of the summer and more than 150,000 American deaths.

  • “They are dying, that's true. And you have — it is what it is. But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” he told Axios' Jonathan Swan.