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Donald Trump didn’t know difference between HIV and HPV, according to Bill Gates

Claire Toureille May 18, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 17: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), not pictured, in the Oval Office of the White House May 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. The White House said the two leaders will be discussing the upcoming NATO Summit in July. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

(Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty)

Donald Trump twice asked Bill Gates if HIV and HPV were the same thing, according to tech giant Bill Gates.

The Microsoft founder was answering staff questions during a recent Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation meeting when he revealed the bizarre anecdote.

Gates spoke about meeting Trump twice, once in 2016 and once in 2017. Gates specified he had never met Trump before his election and even mentioned avoiding him at an event during his presidential campaign.

Bill Gates exits an elevator before speaking to reporters at Trump Tower, December 13, 2016 in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty)

When he met the then-president-elect at Trump Tower in December 2016, Gates said their conversation covered several subjects, including health, energy and education. Gates then advised Trump to champion science and innovation. The two men met once again at the White House in 2017.

On both occasions, Trump asked Gates what the difference between HIV and HPV was.

“I was able to explain that those are rarely confused with each other,” said Gates.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) attacks the immune system and can lead to AIDS. HPV (human papilloma virus) is a sexually-transmitted disease that affects the skins and moist membrane, according to the NHS.

Though Trump’s memory failed him when it came to identifying illnesses, according to Gates, the president knew a “scary” amount about the Microsoft founder’s daughter Jennifer, 22, whom he had met once before.

Jennifer Gates and her parents, Bill and Melinda Gates, listen to former U.S. President Barack Obama speak at the Gates Foundation Inaugural Goalkeepers event on September 20, 2017 in New York City. (Yana Paskova/Getty)

According to footage of the meeting broadcast by MSNBC on Thursday, Gates said Trump knew a “scary” amount about his daughter’s appearance.

“When I first talked to him it was actually kind of scary how much he knew about my daughter’s appearance,” Gates recalled, before adding, “Melinda [Gates, his wife] didn’t like that too well.”

Trump also questioned Gates on vaccines, asking him if they “weren’t a bad thing because he was considering a commission to look into ill-effects of vaccines.”

Gates told him “that’s a dead end, that would be a bad thing, don’t do that.”

A HIV testing kit

Gates said he was also thrown off by Trump’s habit of talking about himself using the third person.

“When I walked in, his first sentence kind of threw me off. He said: ‘Trump hears that you don’t like what Trump is doing.’ And I thought, ‘Wow, but you’re Trump,'” Gates said, earning laughs from the audience.

“I didn’t know the third-party form was always expected. ‘Gates says that Gates knows that you’re not doing things right.’”

More: Bill Gates, Donald Trump, HIV, HPV, US

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