Perhaps tiring of “checkbook compassion” from the wealthy and powerful elite who will never have to suffer from the afflictions that they claim to care so much about, Bill Gates decided to up the ante at the recent Technology, Entertainment, and Design Conference:
Microsoft founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates released a glass full of mosquitoes at an elite technology conference to make a point about the deadly disease malaria.
“Malaria is spread by mosquitoes,” Gates said while opening a jar onstage at the Technology, Entertainment, Design Conference — a gathering known to attract technology kings, politicians, and Hollywood stars.
“I brought some. Here I’ll let them roam around. There is no reason only poor people should be infected.”
Afterward, Gates released a statement announcing that none of the mosquitoes were really infected with malaria.
I’m guessing that Gates probably doused himself thoroughly with insect repellent before his presentation, but at the same time I applaud his effort. With all of the current demands for wealthy business and political leaders to “get back in touch” with the every day world that the rest of us must live in, Gates’ little demonstration was not only appropriate, but sorely needed. Perhaps in the near future, Gates will be able to persuade some of his wealthy friends to spend some time in a slum in Mexico City or Cairo or Calcutta or Detroit or Baltimore/DC.
Who knows? If they’re not careful, they might even learn something.