Though Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is a longshot to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination against former Vice President Joe Biden, Sanders did not shy away from promoting his progressive political rhetoric.
Sanders’ campaign rhetoric railed against the wealthy, millionaires and billionaires alike, and yet, Sanders has yet to praise the wealthy for their donations to combat the coronavirus. But the media did not ask Sanders about it. Instead, much of the media coverage focused on Sanders’ criticism of the economic stimulus bill passed by the Senate.
Forbes compiled a list of billionaires who have announced donations to efforts to combat the coronavirus on a global scale, which has received scant media attention and attention from progressives such as Sanders. The wealthy, ranging from fashion designer Armani Group to U.S. sports franchise owners to Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, announced ways that they are donating to the cause of fighting the spread of the coronavirus. For example, Benioff said Salesforce will continue to pay workers despite closing all of its office, in addition to donating 9,000 masks to the University of California-San Francisco and work on delivering another 5 million masks.
Other examples of donation efforts include Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, which aims to hire 100,000 new workers across the U.S. and donated several million dollars to coronavirus relief funds for those affected. One of Sanders’s former primary opponents, Michael Bloomberg, will partner with the World Health Organization to launch a $40 million initiative to prevent or slow the spread of the coronavirus.
But Sanders has not responded to the efforts of the wealthy to counter the spread of the coronavirus on his Twitter account or on his Senate newsroom website. As much as Sanders criticized the wealthy, such as his quote that “I don’t think that billionaires should exist,” he failed to publicly recognize the philanthropic efforts that the wealthy can fund to bring about the greater good. It was hypocritical for Sanders to criticize the wealthy and ignore their positive contributions to society, especially during the current coronavirus crisis.
Both the media and Sanders share the blame for not highlighting the philanthropic efforts from the wealthy to combat the spread of the coronavirus. It was hypocritical to criticize the wealthy and ignore their positive contributions to society during the coronavirus crisis. The media should do a better job in reporting the facts about the wealthy’s philanthropic efforts and focus less on hyping the coronavirus crisis.