Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Pledges $1 Bn for COVID-19 Relief Work

Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said on Tuesday, 7 April, that he is committing $1 billion of his personal fortune through his philanthropic fund to help combat the novel coronavirus disease.

Dorsey took to Twitter and shared a Google spreadsheet to track the flows to the fund, which has a model similar to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to allow flexibility in funding startups.

"After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl's health and education and UBI (universal basic income). It will operate transparently." The pledge represents about 28 percent of his wealth, he said.

Dorsey added, "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."

The move could be the largest from a single individual for coronavirus relief work and comes at a time when the pandemic has spanned worldwide, with over 1.4 million positive cases and over 72,000 deaths all over the world.

Dorsey added, "Why is #startsmall a LLC? This segments and dedicates my shares to these causes, and provides flexibility. A document link tweeted by him also showed that the new fund had already pledged $100,000 to a new initiative called 'America's Food Fund' launched by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, and Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Other technology entrepreneurs have also pledged funds for relief efforts in varying amounts.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has pledged $100 million to help food relief efforts during the pandemic, while Zuckerberg has offered more than $25 million to help research through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Gates Foundation, too last month pledged $125 million for research but it is also believed to be investing in other projects.

(With inputs from AFP)

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