Chris Whitty did not personally receive millions of pounds from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation

3rd Jun 2020

Claim

A Facebook post has claimed Chris Whitty received £40 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Conclusion

This is not true. Professor Whitty was working at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine when they received a large grant, $40 million of which went to a group of malaria research bodies of which he was Director and Principal Investigator.

A Facebook post claims that Chief Medical Officer and government advisor Chris Whitty has received over £40 million in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The post suggests this is a conflict of interest. 

He did not personally receive that money. In 2008, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was awarded grant funding of over $46.4 million (about £23 million at the time) by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and $12.7 million (about £6.3 million) from other partners for research into treatment and prevention of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. 

The largest portion of that funding went to the ACT Consortium, a body of research institutions around the world that conducted research into treatment for malaria and of which the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was a member. The ACT Consortium received around $40 million (around £20 million) of the funding. 

At the time, Professor Whitty was a director and Principal Investigator of the ACT Consortium, but the money did not go directly to Professor Whitty. According to reports from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the money went via the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Many universities, hospitals and research institutions receive grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. You can see all the institutions that have been awarded grants here.