Donald Trump's coronavirus policy has caused 'needless deaths' - Melinda Gates

  • Video report by ITV News Presenter Julie Etchingham

Donald Trump’s coronavirus policy has caused “needless deaths”, according to Melinda Gates.

More than 138,000 people have died in the US after contracting the virus, resulting in heavy criticism of the Trump administration.

"I don't think he has a sensible policy," Mrs Gates told ITV News.

"All you have to do is look at the numbers of the deaths in the United States from Covid. Those are needless deaths. And it's very unfortunate."

The American philanthropist, who co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband, also believes the President has made an error in leaving the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“The WHO has been a longstanding partner of the Foundation’s. We know the WHO, we work with them all the time," she said.

"They're not perfect, but you do not pull out in the middle of a pandemic. 

“WHO was formed by the world to deal with pandemics. 

“So in the middle of a crisis, you don't pull out on your partner. You just don't.”

President Donald Trump has been criticised in Mary Trump's new book. Credit: Evan Vucci/AP

Alongside her husband, Microsoft founder Bill, Mrs Gates has been supporting work to creative a Covid-19 vaccine. 

Mr Gates has contributed £596m to research being carried out at the University of Oxford.

“With science you have to wait for the data on each phase, but this one is looking potentially good," she said.

“You know, I think we all need to expect that it'll be early next year before we would realistically get a vaccine.”

In the UK, Home Secretary Priti Patel is the only woman to host a daily coronavirus briefing during the pandemic, leading to criticism of the lack of gender diversity in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet. 

“I think you should have more females in those roles," Melinda said. 

“I think again, females tend to see the entire system. They see the economic pieces, they see the health pieces, they see the caregiving pieces. 

“Women are so often the caregivers for the elderly and the young. 

“And so again, women have a full view of society and when they have their full voice and their full decision making power, I believe they make different decisions than men do.”

When asked by ITV News Presenter Julie Etchingham how Mrs Gates is particularly keen to raise a global alarm about the gender divide in the fallout from this pandemic in relation to her study which is out today, she said she had written the paper to "highlight that there are health effects".

Mrs Gates' report focuses on the awareness of the silent death roll of mothers and new-borns during a pandemic, comparing it to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone. 

She also calls for changing the outdated and sexist economic systems, urging governments to offer more paid leave to working parents and getting employers to make schedules flexible and encourage remote working.

Furthermore she would like countries to listen to female experts and have women involved in the Covid-19 response. 

Mrs Gates told ITV News: "One of the reasons I've written this paper is to highlight that absolutely there are health effects.

"There's a shadow pandemic. We're going to get more maternal death in places in the world. So we have that issue. We have to look at the health systems. We have to look at the economic impact on women.

"Women are disproportionately losing their jobs. Women are also the biggest number of healthcare workers, uh, in the field.

"And as well, we need to, we can do things like if we collect sex and gender desegregated data, we can actually make the right investments.

"And then we have to also look at women, women in leadership power who can make these kinds of decisions us, because it will change the world."