Bill Gates says social media needs to step up and stop spreading misinformation about COVID-19

Bill Gates, billionaire and founder of Microsoft, is pointing the finger at social media companies like Facebook and Twitter for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus.

In an interview with Fast Company, Gates said: "Can the social media companies be more helpful on these issues? What creativity do we have?" Sadly, the digital tools probably have been a net contributor to spreading what I consider to be crazy ideas."

According to Gates, crazy ideas aren't just limited to the internet. They are going beyond that. He doesn't see the logic behind not protecting yourself and others from coronavirus."Not wearing masks is hard to understand, because it is not that bothersome," he explained. "It is not expensive and yet some people feel it is a sign of freedom or something, despite risk of infecting people."



Facebook responded in an email to Fox News saying: "Since January, we've worked closely with health organizations, like the CDC, to connect people to accurate information about COVID-19 and we will continue to do more. We've directed over 2 billion people to resources from health authorities and just today launched an alert at the top of Facebook and Instagram reminding everyone to wear face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We're also aggressively going after misinformation and have applied warning labels to millions of pieces of misinformation and have removed content that could lead to imminent harm."

In this case, the phrase "freedom isn't free" may be relevant in a different way than people traditionally think of the saying. Throughout our country's history, American soldiers have put their lives on the line to ensure our safety. With COVID-19 cases spiking all over the country, it is up to us to stop the spread of the virus. If that involves staying at home, wearing a mask whenever we go outside and taking precautions until we get the pandemic under control—that's our duty. Eventually that will allow us to walk our streets freely, eat at our local restaurants and bask in the sun on our favorite beaches. It is a small price to pay compared to the American heroes who have gone to war for us.

The coronavirus isn't as concerned with our freedom. It infects and kills people all over the world. The medical community knows this, but it isn't the news people want to hear. They keep searching until they get the answer they want. But when they don't get it, they point fingers at people like Bill Gates. He's become the main target.

Conspiracy theorists have placed Gates at the center of blame regarding COVID-19 largely because of his 2015 TED Talk when he warned about global pandemics. People either blame him for the outbreak or accuse him of profiting from it. His prediction five years ago has some hoaxers believing he was the architect behind the spread of the virus, questioning his large investments in vaccine development.

He dismissed the accusations and outlandish theories, telling CCTV back in April, "We are in a crazy situation so there are going to be crazy rumors. We need to make a vaccine without just focusing on one country. We need to make it for the entire world, including countries that don't have the resources to pay vaccine research or vaccine factories."

Let's be real. Bill Gates isn't hurting for money, and based on the billions of dollars he has dedicated to charity, this doesn't seem to be a cash grab scheme. In a press call in June, Gates responded to the conspiracies about him related to the donations he made to to develop and produce a vaccine for the illness. "The misinformation thing is just so weird," he said. "Most of the people I talk to aren't the ones who are subject to that, so I don't have any direct connection to it to understand it."

It seems like a better solution to have Bill Gates donating his time, efforts and money in developing a vaccine then laying around on the couch, downing bags of potato chips and playing video games like Fortnite all day. But hey, that's just me.

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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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