Melinda Gates, wife to Bill Gates revealed in an interview with BBC radio she has been storing food in the basement for years in anticipation of a possible pandemic.
Melinda Gates is one of the world’s most powerful women. She co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has overseen philanthropic grants worth more than $50 billion to organisations and individuals in 139 countries.
BusinessInsider reports Melinda Gates revealed in an interview with BBC Radio Live that she and her husband, Bill, have been storing food in their basements for years, in anticipation of a possible pandemic. She said they had the conversation “a number of years ago” and sought to prepare themselves in advance if disaster struck.
“A number of years ago, we talked about, ‘What if there wasn’t clean water? What if there wasn’t enough food?” she said on the radio show. “Where might we go? What might we do as a family?’ So, I think we should leave those preparations to ourselves.”
The only thing they did not prepare, however, was the vaccine or a treatment for the virus that would cause a pandemic, though she acknowledged how “lucky” she and her family are to be in a position of privilege when it comes to dealing with COVID-19.
“What we mostly talk about now in our home every night is how lucky we are,” she continued. “We understand our privilege. When we say our grace at night, what we’re thankful for around the table, is that we aren’t struggling to put a meal on the table as so many families around the world are.”
Business Insider’s Debanjali Bose previously reported that Bill Gates has been warning about a possible pandemic for years, saying at a 2015 TED Talk that the world wasn’t “ready for the next epidemic” and again repeating this sentiment in a 2017 op-ed for Business Insider, where he wrote that the next epidemic could possibly be “a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu.”
The Microsoft cofounder has been very outspoken throughout the coronavirus pandemic, telling the Financial Times in early April that this will be the “biggest event” of most people’s lifetimes. He has been suggesting possible actions countries could take in order to help keep track of the virus, including the creation of an international database, which would allow countries to share information with each other.
On April 15, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced it would give $US150 million in funding to help deploy additional medical supplies, in addition to helping scientists discover treatments and a vaccine for the virus. The foundation has donated a total of $US250 million to date to aid global coronavirus efforts.