Melinda Gates comments on the Capitol attack: ‘This president incited this mob’

Melinda Gates comments on the Capitol attack: ‘This president incited this mob’

“I think we need to reckon with the fact that this president incited this mob. That is not us as an American people. That is not us as a democracy.”

That was Melinda Gates reliving last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol building, when a pro-Trump mob breached the seat of the legislative branch while a joint session of Congress was meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. The violence, which followed a rally led by the President in the nation’s capital, led House Democrats to introduce an impeachment article accusing Trump of inciting an insurrection against the United States government on Monday.

“A protest is one thing; a mob is a different thing,” Gates said while speaking with “Today” show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie in a segment that aired on Tuesday morning.

The co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who is married to Microsoft

 founder Bill Gates, hasn’t been shy about criticizing the current administration — particularly over its response to the pandemic.

Read:Melinda Gates grades the Trump administration’s coronavirus response — and it’s a pretty low score

She continued to critique the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has sickened at least 22.6 million Americans and killed more than 376,000, during Tuesday morning’s segment. And she addressed the slow vaccine rollout, which has fallen far behind earlier projections.

“So when you have a national emergency, it’s the federal government’s responsibility to make sure that there’s good coordination across all 50 states,” she said. “The federal government needs to step up and have a coordinated response, just like they should have had for testing. That can be done, and you will start to see lots more vaccine getting out there, and for people to be able to take it.”

Opinion:The U.S. must tap this powerful tool to loosen the COVID-19 vaccine logjam

She also called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be “front and center” with providing public health guidelines for both the public to follow, as well as local health authorities.

Watch it here:

The conversation also turned to how the pandemic has pushed women out of work. The country lost 140,000 jobs in December — the first decline in eight months. And a recent analysis by the National Women’s Law Center claims that all of these jobs were held by women; women lost 156,000 jobs last month, while men gained 16,000. And women have reportedly accounted for more than half (55%) of the millions of jobs lost since last February. The New York Times has even termed the 2020 downturn a “shecession.”

Female employees have been bearing the brunt of job losses during the pandemic for a few reasons. First, many of the industries disrupted by COVID-19 — such as leisure and hospitality, education and health care — are predominantly female. Female-owned small businesses have also been hit hard by the pandemic, with the number of women business owners dropping from 5.4 million to 4.0 million in just two months, a recent National Bureau of Economic Research working paper found.

But many women have also been tasked with double-duty as caregivers and homeschool teachers as schools close and families have had to shelter in place, which has also driven some women out of the workforce.

Read:COVID-19 forced working mothers to take time off work — rather than fathers

And also:One in four female employees considering leaving or cutting hours amid COVID-19, extensive study finds

“This unpaid work — the caring for the children, caring for the elderly — that is falling on women,” Gates said. “I think the delay for women getting back into the labor force will be long and hard, unless we get good policy-making happening o the Hill.”

Related:The pandemic is causing women to drop out of the workforce — here’s what it will take to get them back

So what about the division of labor in the Gates’ household? She painted an amusing picture of her husband Bill, one of the wealthiest people in the world, nuking his dinners in the microwave.

“We are both doing a lot of microwaving. Both people can set table,” she said. “Both people can do the microwaving and cleaning up.”

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