(13 Feb 2018) Bill and Melinda Gates, as the world’s top philanthropists, are rethinking their work in America as they confront what they consider an unsatisfactory track record, the country’s growing inequity and a president they disagree with more than any other.
In an interview with The Associated Press, the couple said that they’re concerned about President Donald Trump’s “America first” worldview.
They’ve made known their disagreements with the president and his party on issues including foreign aid, taxes and protections for immigrant youth in the country illegally.
Now, the Gateses say they’re also digging into the layers of U.S. poverty that they haven’t been deeply involved with at the national level, including employment, race, housing, mental health, incarceration and substance abuse.
“We are not seeing the mobility out of poverty in the same way in the United States as it used to exist,” Melinda Gates said in a Feb. 1 interview with The Associated Press.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said it’s studying these aspects of economic mobility with no plans yet for any particular initiatives, though it has done related work at home in Washington state on a much smaller scale. Last year, it funded a grant for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to look into state and federal policies that can reduce poverty.
Once the world’s richest man, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has marked a decade since transitioning away from the tech giant to focus on philanthropy. He said he’s had two meetings with Trump, where they discussed innovation in education, energy and health _ including vaccines, which Trump has voiced skepticism about them.
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