Amid the growing spread of the novel coronavirus, Forbes has been monitoring billionaire reactions to the pandemic. We highlight some of the biggest news - and checked in with some billionaires directly to see what it means for their businesses, their employees and their expectations.
Some of the world’s richest are donating to help countries hardest hit by the disease. Bill Gates, the world’s second-richest person, announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would commit $100 million to aid global detection, isolation and treatment of the virus. Alibaba founder Jack Ma, the second-richest person in China, pledged $14 million from his foundation to help develop a coronavirus vaccine and said on Friday he would donate 500,000 testing kits and one million face masks to the U.S.
On Saturday, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced on Twitter that the company will allow guests around the world to cancel and get their money refunded.
Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin’s firm Citadel announced it will donate $7.5 million to one of China’s hardest-hit provinces. Ted Leonsis, the owner of the NBA's Wizards, the NHL's Capitals, the WNBA's Washington Mystics, two Arena Football teams and the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., announced that he would pay all 500 ushers, ticket takers, operations folks and other part-time employees who were scheduled to work through the end of March despite the venue being closed.