The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has released what it says will be the first in a series of annual reports measuring progress on a series of measures of development and public health. The statistics show remarkable recent gains and are worth a look if you need cheering up.
The New York Times has an illuminating news article about the effort and some recent Gates appearances:
Health journalists are sunk in negativism, they say, focusing on failures in a sea of global health successes...
Surprisingly, the new report was not a reaction to Mr. Trump's threats to slash the foreign aid budget by 32 percent.
According to Dr. Christopher J.L. Murray, director of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which gathered the data, it was initiated three years ago because Mr. Gates feared the world was losing its focus on health....
In early interviews, Mr. Gates refrained from criticizing Mr. Trump but gave the clear impression that he believed Congress would ignore most of the president's proposed cuts. Congress appears to be doing just that.
From an NPR report about this:
Here's NPR's Michaeleen Doucleff.
MICHAELEEN DOUCLEFF, BYLINE: There's at least one thing Bill Gates and President Donald Trump agree on - the media doesn't always get things right. For Gates, the problem is the way foreign aid is covered. He says it focuses too much on failures.
BILL GATES: The nature of news is mostly to cover big setbacks - you know, a little bit of money was spent improperly, even though 99 percent of it was spent well. Which of those is going to get the news article? It's mostly setbacks. So that's why you have this misimpression.
DOUCLEFF: For example, news rarely mentions that some countries, like Rwanda and Ethiopia, have made dramatic progress in improving the health of its poorest families or that in the past three decades, the number of children who die each year has dropped from 12 million to less than 6 million worldwide.