Bill Gates met with President Donald Trump on Monday to discuss global health programs and domestic education.
The Microsoft co-founder met with the president to “discuss the tremendous progress made to-date in these areas and the critical and indispensable role that the United States has played in achieving these gains,” Sarah Logan, a spokeswoman for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said in a statement.
Monday’s meeting at the White House comes just days after the Trump administration submitted a budget proposal that cuts foreign aid. “It is time to prioritize the security and well-being of Americans, and to ask the rest of the world to step up and pay its fair share,” Trump said.
While Gates didn’t endorse a candidate in the 2016 presidential election, he did call Trump “very sophisticated” in an interview last year after the election, likening him to President John Kennedy.
But in a blog post Friday, Gates argued against Trump’s proposed cuts to US humanitarian aid overseas, contending that these projects “keep Americans safe.”
“[B]y promoting health, security, and economic opportunity, they stabilize vulnerable parts of the world,” he wrote.
Gates wrote that US aid helps prevent and eradicate epidemics, citing polio and Ebola as examples. He also praised a program instituted by former President George W. Bush that battles HIV/AIDS in some of the world’s poorest countries.
“There are 11 million people with HIV who are alive today because of the medicines that it provides,” Gates wrote.