Bill Gates really helps poor people

SWR2 knowledge The WHO on the begging staff: Bill Gates determines what is healthy

Current fact check: Bill Gates and the WHO

Our 2017/2019 show is currently attracting great interest. Also because Bill Gates got at the center of conspiracy myths during the corona pandemic. The allegations often made there about Bill Gates have nothing in common with the content of this program, except for the prominent name. In order to better classify the role of Bill Gates and the WHO against the background of the current corona pandemic, we recommend the fact check of our colleagues from BR24: #Faktenfuchs: Corona myths about Bill Gates

The World Health Organization (WHO) is now 80 percent financed by private donors and foundations. The largest private donor is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Since the turn of the millennium, the Gates Foundation has donated a total of 2.5 billion dollars to the WHO - 1.6 billion of which for the eradication of polio and polio. In total, the foundation spends four billion dollars annually. The money goes to a global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, into medical research and into vaccination partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.

Why conspiracy theorists target the Gates Foundation

Bill Gates neither bought the Charité nor has a patent on the corona virus. Many conspiracy myths are unfounded. It is correct: The USA is stopping its payments to the WHO - this increases the possible influence of private donors such as Bill and Melinda Gates on the programs of the World Health Organization. You can see that critically without assuming Bill Gates' bad motives - says Gábor Paál in an interview with SWR Aktuell.

The great merits of the Gates Foundation are undisputed. The problem is that Bill Gates enforces his idea of ​​health promotion through his foundations. The Gates Foundation invests primarily in technical measures against infectious diseases, for example in vaccination campaigns and the distribution of medicines. Health experts like Thomas Gebauer from the aid organization Medico International criticize that this would neglect other important tasks - the establishment of functioning health systems in poor countries, for example.

SWR3 fact check: KenFM video "Gates captures Germany!"

The fight against the social causes of illness falls by the wayside

Health is only influenced to a small extent by medical action. According to Gebauer, the living conditions of the individual are much more important. The health expert is convinced that people who spend their childhood in slum areas have a far shorter life expectancy than those who grow up in affluent areas. As early as the 1980s, a WHO expert commission came to the conclusion that most deaths are not caused by viruses or diseases, but rather by social inequality.

Earmarked donations to the WHO mean that the fight against the social causes of illness falls by the wayside, criticizes Thomas Gebauer. As managing director of the human rights organization Medico International, he has been dealing with the strategies of global health policy for years.

Only the pharmaceutical industry earned money from the swine flu panic

When the swine flu broke out in 2009 and a small committee within the WHO declared a global emergency, the pharmaceutical giants were already producing their vaccines in the background. With its warnings about the pandemic, the WHO triggered a worldwide panic. This, in turn, put pressure on governments to quickly fill their warehouses with vaccines and swine flu medicine. At that time, the federal government alone bought vaccines and flu drugs worth 450 million euros. When the pandemic did not materialize, the drugs had to be destroyed. But Big Pharma had made billions - even if a commission of inquiry came to the conclusion that the pharmaceutical industry had not influenced the WHO decisions on swine flu.

Business profits from big food and big pharma finance the WHO

Bill Gates makes his billions by investing in certain industries. Critics complain that all of these industries have something to do with disease-causing conditions. The Gates Foundation holds shares in Coca Cola valued at $ 500 million and shares in the world's largest supermarket company, Walmart, valued at $ 1 billion. In addition, there are holdings in the food groups Pepsi Co, Unilever, Kraft-Heinz, Mondelez and Tyson Foods; to the alcohol groups Anheuser-Busch and Pernod; at the pharmaceutical companies Glaxo Smith Kline, Novartis, Roche, Sanofi, Gilead and Pfizer.

The foundation also holds nearly $ 12 billion worth of shares in the Berkshire Hathaway Trust owned by investor Warren Buffett. The trust, in turn, owns shares in Coca Cola valued at $ 17 billion and Kraft-Heinz stock valued at $ 29 billion.

For the Gates Foundation this means: the more profits these companies make, the more money they can spend on WHO. For the WHO this means in turn: With every measure against harmful activities of the sweet drinks, alcohol and pharmaceutical industries, the WHO would prevent the Gates Foundation from raising donations for the WHO. In short, the World Health Organization is caught in a classic conflict of interest which limits its scope for action and which, given its financial dependence on the Gates Foundation, can hardly be resolved.

Aggressive marketing of high-sugar, high-fat, and high-salt junk foods has resulted in two billion people being overweight today; In 2016, 1.3 million people died of diabetes in China alone. Meanwhile, Big Pharma is also profiting from the influence of the food industry on the WHO and the global obesity and diabetes pandemics. Particularly profitable are, among other things, drugs against secondary diseases of poor nutrition. Global diabetes drug sales in 2017 were around $ 55 billion.

Health expert Thomas Gebauer speaks of an almost perverse division of labor: The corporations earn twice: on the one hand with the cause and on the other hand with the treatment of the problem.

In future, WHO wants to at least make it clear who is exerting influence

Gaudenz Silberschmidt, WHO director in Geneva, wants to work for more transparency in the future. He calls for new provisions for the involvement of non-state actors: Everyone who has anything to do with the WHO should in future put their cards openly on the table. This would make the WHO the first UN organization to publish the entire board of directors, the entire financing structure and its activities on the Internet for all actors with whom it works.

Production 2017/19

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