Melinda Gates disappointed with US response to pandemic caregiving crisis.

May 11, 2020
Melinda Gates

On NBC's "TODAY" show, Melinda Gates mentioned that she is surprised we weren't prepared, pointing out that her husband warned about a pandemic way back in 2015.

"I'm surprised we weren't better prepared, but quite honestly I'm surprised we wasted so much time,"

The Covid-19 Pandemic is still around and it has had a lot impact on virtualy everything all over the world . While the pandemic is still on, Melinda Gates just shared her thoughts on the United States' response to the crisis.

"we haven't had leadership at the national level to get out tests in the right way, protective gear in the right way, contact tracing in the right way. I'm disappointed in what I've been seeing,"

Melinda and her husband, Bill, have contributed more than $300 million to help find treatments and a vaccine for the virus. Though some reports have been sort of optimistic about a vaccine being ready by January, the couple says it's likely that it will take "12-18 months" before a treatment is ready and good to go.

Melinda Gates, who has actually been a long-standing advocate of gender equality, also criticized the government for turning a blind eye to the caregiving crisis the pandemic is causing.

"If we're going to look at re-opening our economy, we have to take care of our most essential workers, Eighty-five percent of nurses are women. And yet, who is the primary caregiver at home? Women. Who is the primary one for educating the kids? Women."

She explained that when caregiving falls on women, it makes it difficult for them to do their jobs, leading to a loss of income for some women who end up taking a break from work or leaving the workforce altogether. To alleviate this burden, she says, Congress needs to "start looking at a paid family medical leave policy." Right now, she says, the U.S. is the only industrialized nation without one.

In regards to the government approving paid family leave for everyone, she says:

"We've always had this false narrative of 'this is expensive so we're not going to do it.' This is already costing us. It is costing us our health and you have to address this piece if you want to have health-care workers, nurses out there, 85% of whom are women, caring for us in the right way."


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