Yes, There Are Private Donors—and Not Just Bill Gates—Helping Fund the Coronavirus Response

More than $725 million has been spent across the world from non-governmental organizations.


Nearly $1 out of every $10 being spent to fund the global response to the new coronavirus outbreak is coming from private donors, according to a new tracking system put together by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That adds up to more than $725 million coming from non-profits, businesses, and foundations.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit global health policy think tank and information center, put together this database and released it today to serve as a resource to show where money is coming from and going to in the global effort to fight the spread of the new coronavirus, called COVID-19.

The total that has been spent so far is $8.3 billion, which means the vast majority of spending has come from government sources. The top spender is the World Bank, which has outspent everybody else to the tune of $6 billion and has prioritized that spending in the poorest countries with the highest risk.

The U.S. government has given $1.285 billion to other countries. An important caveat: This database does not show a government's domestic spending to contain and fight COVID-19 within its own borders. This is all about the international effort.

Unsurprisingly, the largest private donor is Tencent, the massive Chinese tech company that pretty much operates the country's entire internet social structure and is worth more than $500 billion (in U.S. dollars). Tencent has donated $214 million towards containment efforts in China. Alibaba, the massive Chinese e-commerce company, has donated $144 million.

Here in the United States, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is getting attention for its $100 million in total donations and its direct efforts to facilitate faster coronavirus testing and the development of potential treatments. It's the largest U.S. private donor currently, but it's not the only one. Google, Caterpillar, Mastercard, General Motors, and several corporations that run resorts and hotels (like MGM Resorts International) are contributing anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.

Most of the money right now is focused on assisting China, but it seems likely that as the coronavirus spreads we'll see donations spread to other countries. The Kaiser Family Foundation also acknowledges that its figures are based on public reports of private donations. There may be other private donors that Kaiser has missed. The chart lists all of its sources.

Looking at the private donor list, it seems obvious why they're donating to China. All of them have huge customer bases there, particularly the Las Vegas resort chains. They have a huge stake in making sure consumers of their goods and products don't die off. That's a great thing about capitalism—it creates incentives to assist in the fight against large scale crises.

Read the list here. It will be updated as the Kaiser Family Foundation hears of new donors, both government and private.

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  1. No Charles Koch?

    Getting in before OBL on this one.

    1. After the hit Chuck’s net worth has taken? OBL clearly hasn’t imparted the seriousness of that situation.

    2. I’m calling his “can’t afford it because of Drumpf recession” response.

    3.’s benefactor needs to devote every spare dollar to funding open borders advocacy. Fighting deadly plagues is certainly worthwhile, but fighting alt-right white nationalists is even more important.


      1. Nice Juke we called your response so you had to go Jerome Bettis I mean it wasn’t Barry Sanders or anything

        1. it is nice to see that big in business worry about people

      2. Every time I think your parody can’t sink any lower you pull something like this… And completely redeem yourself

        1. Solid dumb and dumber reference, fake Rev!

  2. 2020’s tulip bulb craze, but with Purell and face masks.

    1. And a communist dictatorship.

    2. A tulip bulb craze that has overwhelmed the italian healthcare system and even in the country that shows the lowest CFR, a CFR over 3x the rate of a “particularly bad flu season”.

      1. Mama Mia!

  3. “Yes, There Are Private Donors—and Not Just Bill Gates—Helping Fund the Coronavirus Response”

    Bernie has a plan to fix that.

  4. I can’t say I’m surprised that the biggest spender is the World Bank. I will be surprised if that money is spent to do anything actually useful.

  5. Kaiser Family Foundation

    These guys are on a roll.

    1. They are the upper crust of society.

  6. So no mention on Reason of Cuomo calling out the national guard to lock down New Rochelle, NY?
    Also “non” government organization

    1. So those “national guard” who will totally respect your civil rights.

      Yeah, I am thinking those millennials do not have your back.

      Tread lightly.

  7. Those numbers will go up a ton once their local hospital is full and they have to buy their way in by kicking someone else with insurance out. Course that’s also an excellent measure of what people are actually willing to pay as a % of their wealth for their own medical care.

    And tick tock – Hospitals in Lombardy reached capacity a couple days ago. NOW we’ll get to see what the raw untreated fatality rates of this virus actually are. And whether that varies as much by age as the previous known hospitalized fatalities were by age.

  8. Those measures include deploying National Guard troops to a Health Department command post and setting up a satellite testing facility and one-mile, two-week containment area in the city. Public schools in that containment zone will be closed through March 25; National Guard troops will help clean surfaces and deliver food in that one-mile radius.
    Kind of a confusing statement. Is New Rochelle locked down, or just the schools? Is the NY Guard blockading roads, or cleaning and delivering food?

    1. ^In response to Nards, above^

      1. I’ll admit, I don’t read most of the garbage articles here. So if that was in the above article and I missed it, mea culpa.
        I’m not sure yet. I think travel restrictions will be in place.
        “Update (1235ET): New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during his daily press update on Tuesday that he is establishing a ‘containment zone’ in the city of New Rochelle, the epicenter of the state’s outbreak. All schools and businesses within one mile of the Westchester town will be closed for two weeks, and the National Guard will be sent in to help local police maintain order”
        Apparently Washington (state) is considering a “lockdown” now

        1. If Trump demanded a lockdown, Inslee would declare it a tulip bulb craze.

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