Bill Gates Lets Loose Mosquitoes at TED

Posted Feb 5, 2009

(Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson for TED)

“Not only poor people should experience this,” stated Microsoft founder Bill Gates at the Technology Entertainment Design (TED) conference in Long Beach, California.  Gates said this as he was opening a jar full of mosquitoes during his speech.  Gates was doing this as a statement that malaria is a major problem in countries such as Africa and South East Asia.  Malaria is often times transmitted by mosquito bites.  Gates’ way of presenting this issue got the whole room tweeting.

Founder of Seesmic Loic Le Meur wrote a Twitter message saying “Bill Gates released mosquitoes at #TED we’re all leaving the room and getting sick.”  eBay founder Pierre Omidyar tweeted “That’s it, I’m not sitting up front anymore.”  Twitter and Blogger founder Evan Williams tweeted “Bill Gates just let live misquitos out on stage. (@sara would be pissed if she were here.)”

Fortunately for audience members, the mosquitoes had no viruses.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hope to significantly reduce malaria-related deaths by 2015.