STAT

Bill Gates got President Trump fired up about a universal flu vaccine — and also (maybe) got a job offer

When Bill Gates told President Trump he should consider appointing a science adviser, Trump parried: Did he want the job?

Bill Gates was talking to President Trump in the Oval Office last month when the conversation turned to the notion of a universal flu vaccine — probably, as Gates recalled in an interview, “the longest conversation about universal flu vaccine that the president’s ever had.”

“You should associate yourself with American innovation. Wouldn’t you love to have the universal flu vaccine be something that really got kicked off and energized by you?” Gates recalled asking Trump.

The idea fired up the president, who Gates described as “super interested.” In a matter of moments, Trump had Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, on speakerphone, asking him about a vaccine that could generate lasting protection against a range of seasonal and animal flu viruses with pandemic potential.

“Hey, Gates says there’s a universal flu vaccine. Is that crazy?” the philanthropist, bemused, recalled the president asking.

Gates said Gottlieb confessed that while he’d heard there was some good work underway, he wasn’t an expert and would need to look into it. (Gottlieb confirmed that the call took place, but declined to discuss

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