What ever happened to that money the Gates foundation was supposed to be giving out?

Back in 2020, we heard a lot about how the Gates foundation was going to help us get vaccines faster. Pre-funding plants, that sort of thing.


Speaking at the Paris Peace Forum today, Melinda Gates will commit an additional $70 million and urge accelerated global action to end pandemic for everyone, everywhere

A recent additional commitment of $250 million brings the total Gates Foundation COVID-19 investment to $1.75 billion.

But here we are. We have vaccine produced by some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms (Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca, the Serum Institute of India) and some startups (Moderna) that were already working on this sort of thing. And by the nations of Russia and China, I think. And the US government pre-funded some of that, as did some other governments, I believe.

Did Gates give anyone money to build vaccine plants? Who? How has that played out?

There’s a related question of why Gates is pressuring the world to keep vaccine patents private property, but I’d rather not get lost in the politics in this thread. I’m just trying to figure out what actually has happened, money-wise, in developing covid vaccines.

Well here’s what the Gates Found said back in Nov

Today’s announcement brings the foundation’s total commitment to Gavi’s COVAX AMC to $156 million.

And the donor page at Covax seems to back that up. (I’m having trouble like making directly to the page so here’s the wiki page

I know that’s not $1.75 bn, that’s just one org.

Here’s a better page

This is just taking their word for it, but it’s something

They have a page with both an FAQ as well as a large number of articles covering this sort of thing, including a recent one about the next $250 million pledge. A lot of it has been and will be used by and for developing nations.

Philanthropy is somewhat rife with hard to track down commitments and follow up of this sort. Now, depending on the form of a philanthropy (foundation vs non-profit charity etc), there are different reporting and legal requirements, which most charities adhere to strictly. But unlike say, a publicly traded company that has broader requirements to not deceive shareholders (which could manipulate the market among other things), philanthropies don’t have a lot of oversight when it comes to specific stuff like this. Since Foundations do not solicit donations from the public, they are generally much less regulated than other forms of charity (in fact some Foundations aren’t used for charitable purpose at all.)

So the TLDR is, it’s very easy for a Foundation to announce a grant, and it be very difficult to track down specific receipts. Given what we know about the Gates Foundation I don’t suspect they regularly lie about the money they give out, but they are not required to provide a lot of data to us on their finances, and I suspect that they don’t want to set the precedent of having to explain themselves to that degree as they don’t want to develop that sort of relationship with the public/press.