Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has blasted Elon Musk by declaring that the Twitter boss is not a real philanthropist because he doesn’t use his wealth to push mass vaccinations for the public.
While speaking during a new interview with the BBC, Gates took aim at Musk, who also owns electric automaker Tesla and aerospace company SpaceX.
Gates appeared to take issue with Musk’s ambition to land the first humans on the surface of Mars.
He argues that colonizing Mars will help the human race escape a “mass extinction crisis.”
In a 2022 TED interview, Musk outlined his dream of sending thousands of SpaceX’s Starship rockets to Mars by the year 2050.
He calls the rockets “modern Noah’s Arks,” even though the spacecraft is still in its experimental phase.
According to Gates, however, Musk should forget about going to Mars and, instead, focus on ways to vaccinate the world’s population.
Gates told the BBC that he does not consider Musk to be a real philanthropist while acknowledging that some of his endeavors, like the electric vehicle company Tesla, “are having a positive impact.”
“I think someday he will join the ranks of philanthropists using his ingenuity,” Gates added, because “at the end of the day” he can’t possibly spend all of his money on himself, “other than going to Mars a few times, which might cost a little bit.”
Gates argued that there are more immediate and pressing issues facing humanity than a Mars mission, such as mass vaccination.
“It’s actually quite expensive to go to Mars,” he said in the interview.
“You can buy measles vaccines and save lives for a thousand dollars per life saved.
“It just kind of grounds you, as in – don’t go to Mars.”
The two billionaires have had tense relations in recent years, and this is not the first time Gates has gone on the offense against the SpaceX creator.
The new Twitter owner, in turn, accused Gates of hypocrisy.
Musk also discovered that Gates, an alleged “climate activist,” was shorting the stock of Musk’s electric car company Tesla.
After discovering what Gates was doing, Musk took him to the woodshed in a heated private exchange.