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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will spend $1 billion to help fight coronavirus

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is committing to spending $1 billion to help fight the outbreak of COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus. 

Dorsey tweeted the announcement Tuesday, April 7, saying that he plans to move $1 billion of his equity in Square — roughly 28 percent of his overall wealth — to help fund global pandemic relief through a new LLC called Start Small. 

I’m moving $1B of my Square equity (~28% of my wealth) to #startsmall LLC to fund global COVID-19 relief. After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and UBI. It will operate transparently, all flows tracked here:

— jack (@jack) April 7, 2020

Dorsey pledged transparency for his donations, adding that grants will be made from either the Start Small Foundation or the LLC directly. “All transfers, sales, and grants will be made public in tracking sheet,” he wrote.

According to a document Dorsey shared, he’s already contributed $100,000 to America’s Food Fund which helps people who have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis get meals. 

Dorsey went on to say that once the coronavirus pandemic is over, he will continue to help fund projects centered around girl’s health and education, as well as universal basic income (UBI). 

Why UBI and girl’s health and education? I believe they represent the best long-term solutions to the existential problems facing the world. UBI is a great idea needing experimentation. Girl’s health and education is critical to balance:

— jack (@jack) April 7, 2020

Dorsey said he pulled equity from Square instead of Twitter simply because he owns more Square stock.

“I’ll need to pace the sales over some time,” Dorsey added. “The impact this money will have should benefit both companies over the long term because it’s helping the people we want to serve.”

Dorsey said that it’s especially important right now to make an impact, and that he hopes he inspires others to do the same. 

“Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now,” he wrote.

Dorsey’s huge donation comes as other tech giants like Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates contribute money to help address the global health crisis. 

In February, Gates and his wife, Melinda, donated $100 million of their money to fund first responders working to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

The Gates Foundation is also planning to spend billions of dollars investing in factories for seven potential coronavirus vaccines — even though that money may end up being wasted on treatments that don’t work.

Gates previously told Trevor Noah on The Daily Show that even if money is wasted, “tt is worth it.” 

Companies are racing to create a successful coronavirus vaccine, but it could take up to 18 months, according to Gates.

For the latest updates on the novel coronavirus outbreak, visit the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 page.

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