We should be turning to billionaires to save us


Illustration by Emily Brinkman.

The coronavirus pandemic is worsening day by day. There is an astronomical surge in both the number of infected people and those who have died due to respiratory illnesses caused by the virus. Businesses and schools have closed, people are sick and unemployed and, worse of all, they have no idea what will come next.

On top of handling COVID-19, the government has to assuage people’s anxieties aggravated by the recent economic meltdown. However, as in any crisis, the government’s slow administration process, further hurt by the lack of a leadership authority, means little immediate relief. The people we should instead turn to right now are billionaires, who have both the money and power to get us out of this predicament.

Billionaires, previously assumed to be hoarding riches without regard for those struggling, are now suddenly seen as messiahs for the poor. Though the amount they contribute might not leave a dent on their overall wealth, they are doing a better job at utilizing efficient money spending strategies over the government. 

A recent poster boy of coronavirus philanthropy Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who has donated $1 billion for COVID-19 relief efforts. Similarly, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently donated $100 million to Feeding America to support 200 food banks in the United States. He also hired 100,000 new employees and raised wages for current employees to regulate demand for shipping essential household items and medications.

Former Democratic candidate and CEO of Bloomberg LP, Michael Bloomberg, has spared no efforts to fight against the pandemic. Through his charity Bloomberg Philanthropies, he is donating billions to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This will give public professionals the tools to save lives and contain the virus. His $40 million Coronavirus Global Initiative will not only help the people in our nation, but will seek to tame the worldwide outbreak of the virus.

Bill Gates, another multi-billion dollar man, has also been working on the treatment and detection of the virus. He, alongside his wife, Melinda Gates, have donated through their foundation $100 million to help efforts to diagnose and develop vaccines for coronavirus to protect people all around the globe.

Have the billionaires failed us in their efforts to stop coronavirus? In this current situation, I would say they have not.