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Bill Gates said he’d rather fund vaccines to “save lives” than go to Mars, but he believes Elon Musk will one day be a “great philanthropist.”

Susan Walsh/AP; Mike Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times

  • Bill Gates told the BBC he doesn’t think going to Mars is a good use of money.

  • “For $1,000 per life saved, you can buy measles vaccine and save lives,” Gates said.

  • He also said that he thinks Elon Musk has had a positive impact through Tesla, although it’s not philanthropic.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said he would rather pay for life-saving vaccines than spend money to fly to Mars, commenting on how his priorities differ from those of one of the other richest men on Earth.

Gates made the comments in an interview with the BBC published on Thursday, in which journalist Amol Rajan asked the billionaire if he would encourage Tesla founder Elon Musk to join the “club of megaphilanthropists,” referring to Gates , Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos.

“Yeah, I think one day he’s going to be a great philanthropist,” Gates said of Musk. “Obviously things like Tesla have a positive impact even without being a form of philanthropy. But at the end of the day, I don’t think — other than going to Mars a few times, which might cost a bit — I don’t think he’d want to spend it on himself.”

Gates added that he believes Musk will eventually become a philanthropist “using his ingenuity.”

After a subsequent question from Rajan, Gates also said that he didn’t think going to Mars was a good use of money.

“It’s actually pretty expensive to go to Mars,” he told the BBC. “You can buy measles vaccine and save lives for $1,000 per life saved, and that just kind of grounds you, like, ‘Don’t go to Mars.'”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the nonprofit founded by Gates and his ex-wife Melinda French-Gates, has poured billions of dollars into researching, developing and delivering vaccines to the world’s poorest countries. The foundation says it has spent billions on efforts to eradicate polio worldwide, including by expanding access to vaccines.

Gates also co-founded the Giving Pledge with French-Gates and Buffett, through which some of the world’s richest people have pledged to give most of their wealth away.

Musk, often credited as the richest person alive, also signed the pledge in 2012. Last year, Musk made a charitable donation of $5.7 billion in Tesla stock to the Musk Foundation, which he founded in 2002 with his brother Kimball Musk According to Bloomberg, the foundation distributed around 160 million US dollars in 2022.

Musk has previously called It’s difficult to “find ways to donate money that really make a difference”. In 2021, a Vox report concluded that Musk had donated 0.05% of his wealth to charity.

Gates and Musk have publicly disagreed in the past, including over COVID-19, how to deal with climate change, and space travel.

Musk and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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