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Billionaire Roundup: Still Social Distancing

Billionaires watch a lot of television at home during a pandemic, just like the rest of us. Just that they’re doing it from much nicer homes. Perhaps they’ve been stockpiling food for years in preparation for a global pandemic, like Bill Gates.

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Billionaires watch a lot of television at home during a pandemic, just like the rest of us. Just that they’re doing it from much nicer homes. Perhaps they’ve been stockpiling food for years in preparation for a global pandemic, like Bill Gates. At least he can stay in his 66,000 square foot house in the Seattle area. Billionaires can also take COVID-19 tests that aren’t available to the general public. However, these are difficult times right now everywhere. Virgin Australia Airlines filed into bankruptcy. Sir Richard Branson He is now asking the UK government for assistance in saving his airline. And finally, while some states are loosening restrictions and reopening, California has appointed a commission of people to aid in the state’s decision to ease restrictions down the road. A who’s who of Californian leaders, including previous governors, billionaire Tom Steyer, and former Disney CEO Bob Iger, make up the commission. Be at home. Remain healthy. The Billionaire Roundup’s newest issue is available here.

Bill Gates has long been storing food.
According to reports, Bill and Melinda Gates have been keeping food in their 66,000 square foot house’s basement for years. This makes sense if you think about it, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focuses on, amongst other things, public health, and infectious diseases. Bill left Microsoft to manage this division of his foundation. He has spent years researching pandemics and speaking with specialists. Additionally, his home, Xanadu 2.0, is ready. Melinda Gates stated in a BBC Radio interview:

“We discussed what would happen if there was no clean water a few years ago. What if food supplies ran low? Where may we travel? What can our family do together? So, in my opinion, we ought to handle those preparations on our own. However, we had planned ahead and kept some food in the basement just in case.”

Bill Gates has been warning people about a pandemic for years, saying in a 2015 TED Talk that the world wasn’t “ready for the next epidemic” and repeating the sentiment in a 2017 op-ed where he wrote that the next epidemic could be “a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu.” Gates predicted that the coronavirus pandemic will be the “greatest event” of the majority of people’s lifetimes in early April. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation stated on April 15 that it would provide $150 million to help fund the acquisition of extra medical supplies as well as the research of cures and vaccines for COVID-19. The foundation has contributed a total of $250 million to support international efforts to combat the coronavirus.

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Community Upset Over Billionaire Access To Coronavirus Testing
Neighbors are getting fired up in Saint Tropez on the French Riviera after it was revealed that billionaire residents have access to COVID-19 testing while locals of lesser means do not. Some of the wealthiest people in the world have houses at Les Parcs de Saint-Tropez, a gated community. The neighborhood has its own exclusive testing facility. Residents who make a fortune and their pals are able to get tested for the virus here. The homeowners’ association president of the property, Jean-Louis Oger, is to thank for the privileged service. In the south of France, Oger, a wealthy pharmacist who has turned entrepreneur, controls a number of clinics and laboratories. LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, and former Harrods and current Ritz Paris owner Mohamed Fayed all own palatial villas in the compound.

As Virgin Australia files for bankruptcy, Richard Branson requests government assistance.
The second-largest airline in the nation is operated by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Australia. It voluntarily filed for bankruptcy protection this week as the coronavirus pandemic has all but stopped international travel. After failing to obtain the necessary financial support from Australian state and federal governments, Virgin Australia filed for bankruptcy. Additionally, Virgin Atlantic is in danger of going bankrupt. Branson requested that his airline employees take an unpaid absence of eight weeks at the outset of the pandemic. He was sharply criticized for this move, with members of Parliament suggesting that Branson should use his net worth to pay the unpaid leave and that it could be covered by the “interest on your wealth.” Branson has a $5.1 billion net worth.

In an open letter to “the Virgin family,” Branson thanks his 70,000 employees and responds to “criticism” about his “net worth” and the necessity of government funding for the companies they work for. Last week Virgin Atlantic was told by the U.K. government to resubmit its proposal for its coronavirus $622 million bailout package as the government rejected the initial bid from Branson and Virgin.

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80-Member Task Force To Address Post COVID-19 Economy Appointed In California
At his lunchtime press conference on Friday, April 17, California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a brand-new task team made up of 80 people. The committee includes Jerry Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis, and Pete Wilson, the four still-alive former governors of California. Other members include former presidential candidate and billionaire Tom Steyer, Apple’s Tim Cook, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Disney’s Bob Iger, and Salesforce’s Marc Benioff. The group will devise a plan to assist California in emerging from the COVID-19-induced recession as quickly and securely as feasible. Since the closure, there have been about three million unemployment claims in California. Only 45% of people live in Los Angeles County and still have a job.

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