FACT CHECK: Did A Program Officer For The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Die In A Drowning Accident?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Nisha Patel, a former U.S. program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, died in a drowning accident in New Jersey.

Verdict: False

The Nisha Patel who died in a drowning accident is different from the woman by the same name who once worked for the Gates Foundation.

Fact Check:

The image shows a screen grab of a Facebook post sharing an article from CNN. The post accompanying the article claims Nisha Patel, who previously worked as a program officer for the Gates Foundation from 2008 to 2011, died in a drowning incident alongside her daughter and father-in-law. The post appears to suggest that the drownings were not accidental.

“She was the US Program officer at the Bill Gates Foundation,” reads the Facebook post. “She oversaw 17 BILLION in Federal Grants & budget spending. (Interesting how none of that is mentioned in the CNN article). Herself, her daughter and a grandfather all drowned in their new pool. Ok sure! 3 people drowning in a pool at once seems very likely.”

However, the former Gates Foundation employee has not died. A representative for Social Policy Institute, where she currently works as a senior fellow, confirmed in an email to the Daily Caller that she is “alive and well.” (RELATED: Did Bill Gates Visit Jeffrey Epstein’s Island 17 Times?)

“Please let your readers and the world know that as of June 26, 2020, I am alive and well,” she told the fact-checking website Lead Stories. “There are multiple people named ‘Nisha Patel’ in the United States, and I am just one of them, which is why I often use my middle initial ‘G.’ across public platforms.”

Nisha Patel, who no longer works for the Gates Foundation, is 45-years-old and lives in Washington D.C., according to Lead Stories. She currently serves on the foundation’s Alumni Network Advisory Board.

A 33-year-old woman with the same name drowned in an above ground pool in East Brunswick, New Jersey, on June 22, according to CNN. Her father-in-law, Bharat Patel, and her 8-year-old daughter drowned in the same incident, The Associated Press reported.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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