The coronavirus (COVID-19) has now spread to 116 countries and territories according to CDC data. The worldwide pandemic has grabbed the attention of billionaires and philanthropists everywhere.
Just today, Mike Bloomberg announced he would help out. But not everyone is satisfied with his relief efforts.
Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential campaign was the most expensive, self-funded attempt ever. He spent nearly $700 million in a quest to win the nomination, an effort that failed spectacularly.
Now, he’s donating $40 million to coronavirus.
People are mad at the comparatively paltry donation.
“Last week, we launched an effort to help US mayors manage COVID-19. Today, @BloombergDotOrg is committing $40M to prevent and slow its spread around the world, particularly in Africa,” Bloomberg tweeted. “Millions of lives and livelihoods depend on getting this response right.”
Over half a billion dollars went to Bloomberg’s campaign ads alone, according to USA Today. That’s money that could be used to fight a pandemic, instead of bringing home a win in American Samoa.
“Cool, so, uh, 8% of what he spent on trying to keep Bernie Sanders from becoming president?” @llchristyll tweeted
People that support Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) are flagging it as a publicity stunt to get Bloomberg back into the good graces of the mainstream media.
“This is going to be one of those “got more in free press than actual money spent” situations, isn’t it?” @People4Bernie replied.
Others on Twitter imagined what Bloomberg’s campaign money could have done if it was put towards coronavirus prevention instead.
“Just think. If Bloomberg has spent his $500 million on coronavirus we’d all get tested,” @swimjar tweeted.
If he wanted to convince people his run for president was because he cared about the world, and not because he simply wanted the power, a bigger donation could have made a big difference in perception.