Mark Zuckerberg's $25 Million Ebola Donation With Wife Priscilla Couldn't Come At A Better Time
It's nice to finally have some good news about Ebola, at least insofar as the response to the outbreak is concerned — Mark Zuckerberg is donating $25 million to fight Ebola, according to a Facebook post he published Tuesday morning. Specifically, both Mark and his wife Priscilla Zuckerberg will be making the donation, which will go to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to help halt the spread of the highly lethal virus. According to the CDC's own data, Ebola has killed over 4000 people since the start of the outbreak, which began in the West African nation of Guinea back in December.
We should all be giving a heartfelt thank you to the Zuckerbergs today, and not just because Americans have been getting kind of panicky about Ebola's arrival in the United States. Even though the two confirmed cases of Ebola in the U.S. have gotten a lot of attention, and understandably so, this donation to the CDC will be supporting the response effort where it's needed most: in the West African countries that have been hardest hit by the virus.
To this point, a staggering majority of the outbreak's infections and deaths have been suffered in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Mark says the $25 million will be going to help those areas establish new care centers and training local staff to identify and take appropriate care with Ebola patients.
So Mark, Why Now?
His Facebook post laid out his concern pretty clearly — if people don't act at this crucial juncture, it could get far, far, worse.
Priscilla and I are donating $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation to help fight Ebola. The Ebola epidemic is at a critical turning point. It has infected 8,400 people so far, but it is spreading very quickly and projections suggest it could infect 1 million people or more over the next several months if not addressed. We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn't spread further and become a long term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio.
With this donation, the Zuckerbergs joined a few other wealthy, welfare-minded citizens who've offered their considerable financial support against Ebola.
Bill and Melinda Gates Gave Even More ...
As you probably guessed, Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates has also thrown his weight behind stopping Ebola's spread, with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation offering up $50 million for the cause on Sept. 10. Gates has been a philanthropist for a long time now, parlaying those ex-tech titan billions a variety of causes, but even by his generous standards, this stands out — it was the largest single donation the foundation has ever made.
And in total, his amount given is higher still. According to Reuters, the foundation had already donated $10 million to the World Health Organization and UNICEF for the same purpose.
... and Paul Allen Pitched In, Too
The Gates' generous giving was echoed by Bill's old partner, Paul Allen. A Microsoft co-founder, and now the owner of two pro sports teams — the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and the NBA's Portland Trailblazers — Allen has been active in making charitable donations before, through the Paul Allen Foundation, so it came as little surprise when he joined the fight. Allen donated $9 million to aid the Ebola outbreak response in West Africa, in addition to another 2.8 million he gave to the Red Cross in August, according to the AP.
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