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Billionaire donates one-third of fortune to coronavirus efforts

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will donate US$1 billion to fight coronavirus. Images: Getty

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will donate US$1 billion to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the largest donation pledged by an individual so far. 

The AU$1.62 billion donation is around 30 per cent of the Twitter and Square co-founder and CEO’s net worth, with Dorsey announcing usage of the funds will be shared through a public Google Sheet

Once the coronavirus pandemic is under control, the funds will be used to boost girls’ health and education and to move towards a Universal Basic Income (UBI). 

“I’m moving $1B of my Square equity (~28 per cent of my wealth) to #startsmall LLC to fund global COVID-19 relief. After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and UBI,” Dorsey said on Twitter. 

“Why now? The needs are increasingly urgent, and I want to see the impact in my lifetime. I hope this inspires others to do something similar. Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now.”

He said he believes girls’ health and education and a UBI are the best long-term answers to the “existential problems” the world faces. 

And, he said he would share the money’s movement publicly so that others can learn. 

“The impact this money will have should benefit both companies over the long-term because it’s helping the people we want to serve.”

US$100,000 of the money has so far been allocated to America’s Food Fund, a food charity. 

Dorsey’s donation is the largest of any billionaire so far, with the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos publicly donating US$100 million to relief. 

Fellow tech billionaire Bill Gates will use his philanthropic organisation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund seven possible vaccines, costing billions of dollars. 

“The situation we’re in, where there’s trillions of dollars — that’s a thousand times more — trillions of dollars being lost economically, it is worth it,” Gates said this week. 

“Our early money can accelerate things… Of all the vaccine constructs, the seven most promising of those, even though we’ll end up picking at most two of them, we’re going to fund factories for all seven, and just so that we don’t waste time in serially saying, ‘Okay, which vaccine works?’ And then building the factory.”

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