Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates tweeted his congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on winning the 2020 U.S. presidential election, adding he looks forward to getting the “surging pandemic under control.”
“Congratulations to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris,” Gates tweeted. “Thank you to the election officials and campaign workers who worked tirelessly to ensure a record number of Americans could cast a ballot and have it counted during such an challenging time for our country.”
He continued: “I look forward to working with the new administration and leaders on both sides in Congress on getting the surging pandemic under control, engaging partners around the world on issues like poverty and climate change, and addressing issues of inequality and opportunity at home.”
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates – file photo. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
Gates, 65, has been at odds with President Trump over his administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 9.7 million Americans and resulted in over 236,000 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
In May, Gates told The Wall Street Journal that he warned President-elect Trump in December 2016 about the risks of a pandemic in the country, urging all of the candidates to make it a national priority.
“I wish I had done more to call attention to the danger,” the Microsoft co-founder said in the interview. “I feel terrible,” he added. “The whole point of talking about it was that we could take action and minimize the damage.”
Separately in May, his wife Melinda Gates said the U.S. is “lacking leadership at the federal level,” which she said is “costing people their lives.”
Gates, who is worth nearly $118 billion, according to Forbes, has focused almost all of his energy on public health responses since he announced in March he was stepping down from the board of directors of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway to focus on philanthropy.
In late April, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced it would give an additional $150 million to fight COVID-19, bringing its total contribution to $250 million. Some of the funds will go toward the World Health Organization, a frequent target of Trump for its response during the coronavirus pandemic.