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Capitol Report: Bill Gates to speak at U.S. Chamber event on Wednesday

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Billionaire Bill Gates is slated to speak Wednesday at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event, with the Microsoft Corp. co-founder stepping into the spotlight following reports that have raised questions about his behavior.

The U.S. Chamber said last week that Gates “will discuss lessons learned on pandemic response and health system resiliency, the role of technology in addressing climate change and energy challenges, and the importance of work to promote an inclusive recovery both in the United States and around the globe.”

Gates is slated to take part in an “armchair conversation” with the organization’s president and CEO, Suzanne P. Clark, as part of a “Global Forum on Economic Recovery.” The organization, which lobbies for businesses in Washington, didn’t respond to a request for comment on whether Gates is still scheduled to speak.

In recent days, a New York Times report said Gates had developed a reputation for questionable conduct in work-related settings long before his divorce that was announced in early May, while a Wall Street Journal report said Microsoft
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board members decided that he needed to step down from its board in 2020 as they pursued an investigation into his prior romantic relationship with a female Microsoft employee that was deemed inappropriate.

Related: Bill and Melinda Gates divorcing after 27 years of marriage

A spokeswoman for Gates told The Times that it is “extremely disappointing that there have been so many untruths published about the cause, the circumstances and the timeline of Bill Gates’s divorce,” and the Journal was told by a spokeswoman that his “decision to transition off the board was in no way related” to “an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.”

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