Bill Gates took to Reddit for an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) session on Friday, where he answered all sorts of questions about vaccines, fake meat, and his favorite Mortal Kombat fighter (he's never played).
One question he completely ignored, however, concerned his relationship with notorious and now-dead pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein - who he met with at least six times, including visits to Epstein's recently-sold Manhattan mansion on "multiple occasions," staying at least once into the night, according to the New York Times.
Meanwhile, Gates adviser Boris Nikolic (pictured below) was named as a fallback executor in an will Epstein amended days before his 2019 death in a Manhattan jail cell.
Several Redditors took this opportunity to ask Bill to explain himself.
"Thanks for doing this again. First of all - big fan of your humble rags-to-riches journey in which you rose against the odds from a rich, well-connected family and utilised predatory patenting to profit from publicly-funded work to sell back to the public. Very inspiring!" asks user proahteane, who followed up the complement with:
"Platitudes aside, my question is this: why were you meeting with Jeffrey Epstein after his first conviction? What could you possibly have to discuss with a prolific pedophile eugenicist?"
And while the question was the 12th most upvoted, Gates completely ignored it, while answering over two-dozen lower-ranked questions.
Were they both interested in eugenics?— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) October 12, 2019
Meanwhile, employees of the Gates foundation also visited Epstein's mansion on multiple occasions, while Epstein also "spoke with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase about a proposed multibillion-dollar charitable fund — an arrangement that had the potential to generate enormous fees for Mr. Epstein," according to the Times.
In late 2011, at Mr. Gates’s instruction, the foundation sent a team to Mr. Epstein’s townhouse to have a preliminary talk about philanthropic fund-raising, according to three people who were there. Mr. Epstein told his guests that if they searched his name on the internet they might conclude he was a bad person but that what he had done — soliciting prostitution from an underage girl — was no worse than “stealing a bagel,” two of the people said. -NYT
How Gates and Epstein met, according to the New York Times;
Two members of Mr. Gates’s inner circle — Boris Nikolic and Melanie Walker — were close to Mr. Epstein and at times functioned as intermediaries between the two men.
Ms. Walker met Mr. Epstein in 1992, six months after graduating from the University of Texas. Mr. Epstein, who was an adviser to Mr. Wexner, the owner of Victoria’s Secret, told Ms. Walker that he could land her an audition for a modeling job there, according to Ms. Walker. She later moved to New York and stayed in a Manhattan apartment building that Mr. Epstein owned. After she graduated from medical school, she said, Mr. Epstein hired her as a science adviser in 1998.
Ms. Walker later met Steven Sinofsky, a senior executive at Microsoft who became president of its Windows division, and moved to Seattle to be with him. In 2006, she joined the Gates Foundation with the title of senior program officer.
At the foundation, Ms. Walker met and befriended Mr. Nikolic, a native of what is now Croatia and a former fellow at Harvard Medical School who was the foundation’s science adviser. Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates frequently traveled and socialized together.
Ms. Walker, who had remained in close touch with Mr. Epstein, introduced him to Mr. Nikolic, and the men became friendly.
Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates first met face to face on the evening of Jan. 31, 2011, at Mr. Epstein’s townhouse on the Upper East Side. They were joined by Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, a former Miss Sweden whom Mr. Epstein had once dated, and her 15-year-old daughter. (Dr. Andersson-Dubin’s husband, the hedge fund billionaire Glenn Dubin, was a friend and business associate of Mr. Epstein’s. The Dubins declined to comment.)
The gathering started at 8 and lasted several hours, according to Ms. Arnold, Mr. Gates’s spokeswoman. Mr. Epstein subsequently boasted about the meeting in emails to friends and associates. “Bill’s great,” he wrote in one, reviewed by The Times.
"I didn’t go to New Mexico or Florida or Palm Beach or any of that," claims Gates. "There were people around him who were saying, hey, if you want to raise money for global health and get more philanthropy, he knows a lot of rich people."
And it looks like Gates was one of Epstein's "rich people." According to the report, Gates donated $2 million to MIT's Media Lab, which university officials described as having been "directed" by Epstein.
According to Arnold, Gates' spokeswoman, "Over time, Gates and his team realized Epstein’s capabilities and ideas were not legitimate and all contact with Epstein was discontinued."
Perhaps 'Gates and his team' should have steered clear of the known pedophile in the first place?
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More Gates answers, via Bloomberg:
Bill Gates is in favor of raising some taxes, but says some proposals seem to go too far. “Taxes are an important issue. Government has to do more -health costs, pandemic recovery, climate investments, foreign aid generosity... So I have pushed for some higher taxes. I have disagreed with some proposals that seem to go too far,” the billionaire said Friday during an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A session on Reddit. The commentary follows a recent proposed wealth tax from Senator Elizabeth Warren that called for a 2% annual tax on households and trusts valued at between $50 million and $1 billion. All net worth over $1 billion would be taxed at 3%. The Microsoft co-founder did not specifically mention any tax proposals during his Q&A. Gates, who is the third wealthiest person in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, also said a higher estate tax can be an effective tool for revenue and avoiding dynastic wealth.
More key quotes:
- On crypto mining:
- “I have a lot of issues with anonymous money transfer compared to attributed systems where you can dispute and reverse transactions and make sure taxes are paid. The electricity use is just one issue. We do need digital money but without that overhead.”
- On universal basic income:
- “Today we provide income to people who are disabled in many countries. The question is, can we afford to do this for everyone. We are getting richer as we innovate but I question if we are rich enough to discourage able people from working. Over time we have been more generous and we will be more generous. The discussion on this is very interesting but it does come down to numbers...”
- On misinformation, disinformation and fake news:
- “Some false information is more interesting than the truth so digital channels seem to magnify echo chambers with bad facts. I haven’t seen as much creativity on how we solve this as we need.”
- On climate denial:
- “The damage in the past was huge. Now the oil companies have stopped funding these things so I think climate denial will go down. There are issues about how we go about reducing emissions but I hope all young people agree that is a critical goal.”
- If nothing is done about climate change:
- “It gets worse over time and natural ecosystems go away. The migration away from the unlivable areas around the equator will be massive. We won’t be able to support a large population if it gets a lot warmer.”
- On reaching net zero emissions by 2050:
- “There’s more public support for taking big steps to avoid a climate disaster than ever before. It’s inspiring to see governments and companies around the world set ambitious goals for reducing emissions. The world’s power to invent makes me optimistic.”