Microsoft founder Bill Gates harshly criticized the United States’ response to the coronavirus pandemic saying its refusal to work with other countries has caused a ‘vacuum’ in solving the global problem.

Gates said that the U.S. had been more concerned with ‘trying to cast blame’ for the spread of the virus instead of collaborating with other countries in eradicating it, blasting the ‘inward’ approach the country has taken.

The billionaire couple donates hundreds of millions of dollars to global health causes through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

They have donated more than $300 million to the search for a coronavirus vaccine.

‘One of the reasons we are so involved in this is that you don’t want the first vaccines to go to the highest-bidding countries,’ Melinda explained.

‘There are 60 million healthcare workers [around the world]. They deserve to get the vaccine first, they’re the ones dealing with this on the front lines, trying to keep us all safe. And then you have to start to tier from there, based on the countries and the populations.

‘Here in the United States, it’s going to be black people who really should get it first and many indigenous people, as well as people with underlying symptoms, and then elderly people.’

The couple were speaking on June 19 at the ninth annual Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy that was held virtually for the first time because of the pandemic.

‘Usually the United States plays a role in global problem-solving, so rather than withdrawing from WHO, they’d be involved, collaborating with other countries, not just trying to cast blame. It’s a tricky situation, where the U.S. sort of turned inward on this one,’ Bill told the summit.

‘We’re trying to stitch different country efforts together. The European leaders are trying to fill that vacuum.