There’s a lot of bad news out there and most of them have to do with COVID-19. Wherever you are you’re either already inconvenienced by it or you will be soon. That’s the nature of a global pandemic. We’re all affected. Some of us are practising social distancing, some of us are on quarantine, but a lot of us are very anxious about it and are trying our best to help those who are at high risk as much as we can, by either staying at home and not spreading the virus or helping out with the shopping for older people or those with compromised immune systems. But what are the rich people doing? Are billionaires doing their part and using their money for the greater good? Let’s see, shall we?
1. Bill Gates
Being the second richest person in the world means you can really help out people in crisis. Bill Gates has been going on in his Ted Talks and interviews about his worry about global pandemics for years now and he was right. So now it’s time to act and Gates Foundation announces that they are pledging up to $100 million to help detect the virus, isolate people who need to be isolated and help find a treatment or possibly a vaccine.
2. Ted Leonsis
Billionaire, CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, owner of multiple NBA and Hockey teams, Ted Leonsis said he’s going to still pay all the employees their salaries for March, even though most of them are not working currently as many sporting events have been canceled due to the spread of the virus. It might seem like a small gesture, but in the light of many people losing their jobs, this is actually pretty decent.
3. Eric Yuan
The founder of Zoom is saying that since the outbreak of COVID19 Zoon has seen a significant increase in people signing up for the service. But not only has he kept the service free, but he’s also waved the fee for unlimited use for places that are affected the most like China and Italy. Non-profit organizations, charities and even K-12 across the US are also getting free unlimited use. When asked about how Covid19 is affecting his business Eric says he says it would just be bad culture to try and make money off of such a horrible situation so they’re not focusing on profit right now.
4. Brian Chesky
The founder of Airbnb announced that they’re not going to charge people for cancellation during the pandemic. The Airbnb policy on the website states that all bookings that were made before March 14th and trips that take place between March 14 and April 14 can be rebooked or canceled without any fees for cancellations or even service fees. Basically people are already losing their vacation plans so at least they won’t lose any money.
5. Kenneth C. Griffin
Kenneth Griffin, the American hedge fund manager and founder of investment company Citadel said that his team at Citadel have given $7,5million to support coronavirus relief in China. These funds will be split between providing needed medical supplies, giving money to organizations and charities who are working to provide help and assistance to the families that were displaced by the breakout of COVID19.
6. Massimiliana Landini Aleotti
Massimiliana and her kids own Menarini, one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in Italy. They announced recently that they’re going to try and convert some of their production lines in their factories to make gel-disinfectant that will be delivered to hospitals in the country for free.