It is a good question. An important question. A question that speaks to who we are as a nation. And it will warrant a deep discussion once we get past the pandemic stage of the coronavirus outbreak.
“So, what’s your take on philanthropy now with all the philanthropists, communities and businesses stepping up to help those in need?,” a reader emailed. “Plus helping in the development of vaccines, ventilators, etc.?”
This likely was in response to previous columns, such as one last July under the headline “Private money and public policy.” And it is an important topic.
So, the long answer is that such philanthropy is great. It’s necessary. It is essential to helping us get through this crisis, with donors large and small contributing to the national effort. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last week pledged $150 million to help fight the pandemic, adding it to $100 million already pledged. “The investments we’ve made, expertise we’ve built, and experience we’ve gained over the last two decades has prepared us for this moment,” the foundation’s CEO said.
That money will help support diagnoses and treatment as well as the development of a vaccine, benefitting the entire world.