American billionaires continue to get richer during COVID-19 crisis

'pandemic profiteers'

NEW YORK – The combined wealth of America’s billionaires, including founder Jeff Bezos and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, jumped more than 19% or by half a trillion since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, according to a report published by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

During the 11 weeks from Mar 18, when the US lockdowns started, the wealth of America’s richest people surged by more than US$565 billion, while 42.6 million workers filed for unemployment, the report said.

“These statistics remind us that we are more economically and racially divided than at any time in decades,” said Chuck Collins, a co-author of the report.

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During the 11 week period, Bezos saw his wealth soar by about US$36.2 billion while Zuckerberg’s fortune surged by about US$30.1 billion. Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk’s net worth also rose US$14.1 billion.

The past week also saw the wealth of US billionaires jump by US$79 billion, according to the report.

In the eleven weeks since March 18th, the following billionaires have seen their wealth accelerate:

Jeff Bezos – up $36.2bn
Mark Zuckerberg – up $30.1bn
Elon Musk – up $14.1bn
Sergey Brin – up $13.9bn
Larry Page – up $13.7bn
Steve Ballmer – up $13.3bn
MacKenzie Bezos – up $12.6bn
Michael Bloomberg – up $12.1bn
Bill Gates – up $11.8bn
Phil Knight – up $11.6bn
Larry Ellison – up $8.5bn
Warren Buffett – up $7.7bn
Michael Dell – up $7.6bn
Sheldon Adelson – up $6.1bn