by Toby Green
Wednesday, 8
September 2021
Debate
17:23

Bill Gates finally realises that lockdown hurts children

A major advocate for social distancing is having second thoughts
by Toby Green
Bill Gates. Credit: Getty

This week The Guardian featured two articles funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) as part of its sponsorship of the paper’s Global Development coverage. One noted on Monday that hundreds of millions of children had fallen behind across the world during the last 18 months, and the other stated that Covid measures meant that education was at risk of collapse in one quarter of the world’s countries.

However, the articles did not mention that these outcomes were the direct result of the lockdowns enthusiastically supported by, er, Bill Gates. These results were entirely predictable — and were indeed predicted at the outset of the lockdowns by UNESCO.

On 18 March 2020, UNESCO reported that half of the world’s schoolchil­dren were not attending school, and outlined the potential consequences. These included interrupted learning, decline in nutrition, erosion of child protection and childcare, and inequitable access to digital learning leading to multiple future inequities. But no one listened.

Nearly 18 months since the catastrophic global policy response to Covid-19 began, the evidence of the appalling harms caused to children and their education is staggering. The Guardian report noted the case of the Philippines, which had some of the “world’s toughest restrictions for children”, with schools still not being reopened after 18 months. Translation? It was illegal for children aged 5-15 to leave their homes between March 2020 and July 9th this year.

Does it require a multi-billion dollar philanthropist and teams of well-paid researchers to work out that children’s learning outcomes are going to be badly affected if they can’t go to school or leave their home? Add to that the fact they live in a seriously impoverished country with scant internet access too. Thanks, BMGF, for putting us straight on that one.

Other bleak predictions from UNICEF’s March 2020 report are now becoming visible. A UNICEF report back in January found that more than 39 billion in-school meals have been missed globally since the start of the Covid-19. A July report in South Africa’s Business Day found that half a million fewer children were in school than a year before. A World Bank study found that Covid-19 school lockdowns had increased dropouts across the board in Nigeria, especially in the 15-18 age group, increasing child marriage and child labour rates dramatically. And these impacts are not limited to poor countries — a recent study found that in the US, poor and minority children were much less likely to have had in-person lessons last year.

Why then has the BMGF suddenly sat up to take notice? Rather than an awakening of sanity — and humanity — it’s more likely to be a case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing. I’m sure that many people at BMGF are appalled at these prospects — but for many poor children, their realisation comes far too late. A future with millions of impoverished, ill-equipped, cruelly treated and angry young people looks to be the ultimate result of these global lockdowns, which should give mainstream media figures cause for reflection.

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Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
8 months ago

“Unicef warns lockdown could kill more than Covid-19 as model predicts 1.2 million child deaths”
The Telegraph, Global Health Security Reporter 13 May 2020 • 6:00am

Since this story in May 2020 – saying the Western Lockdowns would cause these children to die because of diminished economic activity – I have been telling it – and no one cares. (think of the adults in Africa who grow the fresh flowers air-freighted in daily for Europe – a great many of them, put out of work – think of thousands of similar jobs, and no food the the children,)

I keep telling of the experts who all agree a poor student does not catch up for missed class – well millions in the West are now doomed to unemployability and under employability to save granny. Hundreds of millions of children outside the West the same.

That any society destroys the young to save the old and feeble a few more months is the most evil thing I know of.

For Shame – you lockdown sheep, you have done vast harm to the people of the world. You NHS pot bangers, that ghoulish noise you made was celebrating the neglect of all the ones who needed non-covid health care and were denied.

Gates and his ilk have more blood on their hands …..

Last edited 8 months ago by Galeti Tavas
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago

Not just the very wealthy, but comfortably off people in the West have supported lockdowns in droves. It has been traumatic to witness, especially as they assume the moral high ground.

Mel Bass
Mel Bass
8 months ago

You cannot persuade that type of person that lockdowns even have harmful outcomes. I’ve been told by various lockdown-supporters that it doesn’t matter about the kids missing school because ‘they’ll catch up’, and covid is ‘so dangerous’ that it’s more important to lock down than to worry about other health issues, the economy, poverty etc. Any comment on the harmful effect of lockdowns in developing countries is met with something on the lines of ‘charity begins at home’. I’ve also noticed that such lockdown supporters usually think it’s ok for themselves to break the rules, because they’re responsible enough to be sensible, while everyone else is too stupid to be trusted with their own health. So frustrating.

Su Mac
Su Mac
8 months ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

Yes, I know lockdown supporters like that! They confide in me about their “sensible” rule breaking because I am openly non-compliant but don’t have the guts to be honest about it or think about why they are breaking these nonsense rules. At least it is easier to phase them out of my life in these perverse times.

ralph bell
ralph bell
8 months ago

We have seen people’s selfishness demonstrated the world over from Politicians in UK & Europe to ‘protect themselves’. Many citizens have also done the same whether through fear or other.
So many illnesses that kill many children have been ignored during Covid-19, its shocking and shameful.

Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
8 months ago

Typical rich philanthropists.
Charity and philanthropy is quite a difficult business. How do you empower communities and not make them dependent?
For example medicine availability has benefitted the humans so effectively that now we are 7b going to 9b. So could it be fair to say that making medicine easily available everywhere has caused the world to be so unsustainably populated ? The downsides are multiple but keep to this point we have become over dependent on medicine and the more we rely on it, the more addictive it becomes. No one could predict that we would be in this situation today because the focus was maybe too narrow.

Even if BMGF has made a difference to some of the communities , it has certainly been undone in lockdown. So why was BG such an advocate of lockdown? Because his focus was narrow . I remember seeing a video in which he is trying to explain the virus and how once a vaccine was available, the next task would be to get everyone on the planet vaccinated!!!! The saddest part is the hubris of these philanthropist that they are in control of the world is so incredibly destructive . I am on the side of a billionaire who is not trying to pretend he has the answers for the poor and deprived. . f you earned it , spend it how you like . Go to space, burn it for all I care. That is less destructive than those who meddle without knowledge or awareness and have loud opinions and half baked strategies.
The ones you are trying to “save”end up paying the price!

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
8 months ago

“So why was BG such an advocate of lockdown? Because his focus was narrow .”

Because he is totally evil is my guess.

Since the lockdowns began I have been ranting about the damage done is 100000X greater than any good. I would not be surprised to find Lockdowns end up causing more harm than WWII, if the Global Great Depression may be caused by them – and it may.

But even without that extreme – the harm will be at least 100X greater than any good – and the Tech/Social Media and MSM elites led this, created it, are the ones responsible for it.

Millions and millions of children have had their futures destroyed, and hundreds of millions of youth had their futures diminished – to save the old and feeble a few more months of life! INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
8 months ago

https://www.thenation.com/article/economy/bill-gates-investments-covid/
It is a tax shelter and a political fund. It has nothing to do with helping anybody. Well his own power and privilege I suppose.

Last edited 8 months ago by Dennis Boylon
Fredrick Urbanelli
Fredrick Urbanelli
8 months ago

Bill Gates and his ex-wife are neither epidemiologists, nor are they educated in anthropology, political science…. the list of what they don’t know is near-endless. But the Gates’ computer science mantra of “make it work”, combined with their enormous fund-raising capabilities have made them completely secure in their moral superiority and completely immune to the realities of peoples’ lives. Their self-serving philanthropic miscues are just imperialism with a smiley-face. Utterly awful.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
8 months ago

I don’t see any comment from Bill Gates stating that he cares about this. I didn’t follow any links. It just stated articles funded by BMGF. Psychopaths don’t feel empathy. Bill Gates doesn’t care. He is getting everything he wants and more.

Bruno Lucy
Bruno Lucy
8 months ago

18 months to come to that conclusion ? Impressive quick thinking to discover the obvious

Fran Martinez
Fran Martinez
8 months ago

I feel that this article should at least mention the great job of Collateral Global to highlight the consequences of lockdowns. Forget UNICEF, collateral global have been ringing the alarm since day one. They are also massively underfunded (of course) and we should all help them.
https://collateralglobal.org/