February 25, 2021



Bill Gates ready to tackle toughest challenges with President Biden after ‘troubling time in America’

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. (GeekWire File Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Ever the optimist, Bill Gates said he sees promise in the months and years ahead as he tweeted Wednesday at President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris that he is looking forward to working with the two of them on “some of our toughest challenges.”

Those challenges include the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, two issues of utmost concern for the former Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist.

In four tweets, Gates said “this has been a troubling time in America,” but that working together and getting more people vaccinated will bring us closer to a time when “life will look much more like normal.”

Gates also praised Biden for joining the Paris climate agreement as one of his first acts in office. Under President Trump, the US left the international accord designed to limit global warming.

Gates walked a bit of a delicate line in dealing with Trump over the previous four years. He met with the then president-elect in New York back in December 2016 to discuss clean energy technologies.

“We had a good conversation about innovation – how it can help in health, education, impact of foreign aid and energy,” Gates said at the time. “A wide-ranging conversation about the power of innovation.”

Gates later elaborated on a bit more of what was discussed, saying that he stressed to Trump the importance of US support for scientific research in areas including vaccines, education, and energy. Gates encouraged Trump to get behind an innovation agenda to spark breakthroughs in these areas, akin to a modern-day moonshot.

“I don’t know if that will happen, but I wanted to get that in front of him,” Gates said in a February 2017 interview with GeekWire.

By April of last year, as the pandemic was taking hold in the US and frustration was mounting over the Trump response, Gates took aim at the administration’s decision to freeze US funding for the World Health Organization. Trump had blamed WHO for mismanaging and covering up the spread of the disease.

Gates’ tweet went viral.