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Trump Twice Asked Bill Gates What The Difference Was Between HIV And HPV

"I was able to, uhh, explain that those are rarely confused with each other," Gates recalled.

Posted on May 17, 2018, at 10:08 p.m. ET

Bill Gates, the cofounder of Microsoft, said during a recent meeting with staff of his foundation that President Donald Trump asked him on two different occasions what the difference was between HIV and HPV.

Jack Taylor / Getty Images

In footage obtained by and aired Thursday on MSNBC's All in with Chris Hayes, Gates, speaking to staff at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation during a recent meeting, recounts his first encounters with the president.

The Microsoft cofounder and global philanthropist said he met with Trump on two occasions in December 2016 and March 2017 to discuss how the new president could drive advances in science and innovation.

"You know, pick things you want to do that are big, HIV vaccine — you could accelerate that," Gates recalled telling Trump. "Be associated with innovation."

Gates said during those meetings Trump asked him if vaccines weren't bad, because he was considering creating a commission to look into any negative effects of vaccines.

Trump has repeatedly promoted the false claim that some vaccines are linked to autism.

Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes - AUTISM. Many such cases!

Gates said he told the president "don't do that," and then shared that Trump asked him during both meetings if HIV and HPV were the same thing.


"Both times he wanted to know if there was a difference between HIV and HPV," Gates said. "So I was able to, uhh, explain that those are rarely confused with each other."

The Gates Foundation did not immediately respond to a BuzzFeed News request for comment.

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a lifelong disease that attacks a person's immune system. The virus is spread mainly through having sex with an infected person or by sharing needles used to inject drugs.

Over time it can cause so much damage to the body's immune system that it can't fight off infections and disease.

HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a very common sexually transmitted infection that can cause genital warts and, in more serious cases, cancer. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some types of HPV can be prevented with a vaccine. There are currently no vaccines for HIV.

During the two men's first meeting, Gates said Trump also commented on his daughter Jennifer's looks.

"It was actually kind of scary how much he knew about my daughter's appearance," Gates said. "Melinda didn't like that too well."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.