A seemingly bemused Bill Gates described his interactions with President Donald Trump in a video that surfaced Thursday, and the billionaire said he had to explain to the president on two separate occasions that HIV and HPV were different things.
The video of the Microsoft Corp. MSFT, -1.00% co-founder speaking at a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation event was broadcast Thursday night on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes.”
Gates said he met with Trump twice, during the transition and again in March 2017, and both times Trump asked him to explain the difference between HIV — Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which causes AIDS — and HPV, Human Papilloma Virus, a sexually transmitted infection that can cause warts and cancer.
The Gates Foundation has put hundreds of millions of dollars into the effort to fight HIV and AIDS worldwide.
Trump also asked Gates about potential drawbacks to vaccines, and said he had been considering creating a commission to look into their negative effects. “And I said, ‘no, that’s a dead end. That would be a bad thing, don’t do that,’” Gates said.
Gates said he turned down Trump’s offer to be a White House science adviser, and that he had never met Trump before his election, although he had managed to avoid him at a function during the campaign.
Gates also told a story about once seeing Trump at a horse show in Florida with his daughter, in which Trump apparently drove away then returned in a helicopter in order to make a “grand entrance.”
When he finally met Trump after the election, Gates described an uncomfortable conversation with Trump about his daughter Jennifer, now 22. “It was actually kind of scary how much he knew about my daughter’s appearance,” Gates said, as the audience chuckled. “Melinda didn’t like that too well.”