2020 didn’t have a great start with rumors WWIII breaking out, climate disasters all over the world, Kobe Bryant’s untimely death, and the coronavirus outbreak. With the whole world dealing with their own natural disasters, WWIII didn’t hold much water in reality, plus the coronavirus posed and continues to pose a more imminent threat. When China quietly attempted to quell the new sickness at the end of last year, the country had to announce the first death by the virus to the world causing panic on every continent.
The Impact of the Coronavirus So Far
In a time where there are over 100 000 flights a day around the world, airlines to and from China were suspended, but the worst had already happened, the virus had spread to other countries. The World Health Organization declared a global health crisis after China closed off the origin city of Wuhan. Other countries found themselves under-prepared to deal with the novel virus.
Confirmed cases worldwide began to increase as authorities rushed to contain and manage the spread all the while trying to find a solution to stop the virus in its tracks. China had begun vaccine research within hours of identifying the new strain and the reality is that it can take months or up to a year before the public will have access to it.
Jack Ma’s 100M Yuan Donation
One of the richest men in China, billionaire Jack Ma, was one of many wealthy multinational entities and donated 100 million yuan (14.5 million USD) to coronavirus vaccine research. Similarly, Bill Gates contributed $100 million to vaccine research efforts through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Other multinational corporations such as Ma’s company, Alibaba, and Tencent, also from China, and American companies, Microsoft, Boeing, Cargill also pledged significant amounts of money.
Donating In Whose Interest?
Any contribution matters to such a global crisis and should be applauded, however, the motive behind most of these donations stem from non-altruistic intentions. Containing the outbreak will help prevent more damage to the global economy with a predicted 2% drop in China’s economy for this quarter losing approximately $62 billion.
As China’s largest trading partner, the United States seeks to protect its high stakes in its economy that would happen once solving the epidemic. With other global companies including Starbucks, McDonald’s and Ikea closing stores across Asia and travel bans, the impact on the world’s economy would be drastic.
Wishing Good Health and Wealth
Although these donations seem generous, in the eyes of non-billionaires, Jack Ma’s $100 million yuan is the equivalent of the average American household donating $33. And at a net worth of $111.4 billion, Bill Gates also has more than enough to share. Again, any and all contributions matter, but when it comes to health and wealth, it looks as if threats to wealth proves to be the more valuable fuel to further research. Currently according to the live status updates of the coronavirus, there have been over 80 000 cases with 2803 deaths and over 30 000 recoveries.