Showing posts with label Bill gates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bill gates. Show all posts

Billionaires added $5 trillion to their fortunes during the pandemic

Billionaires in 2022


Billionaires added $5 trillion to their fortunes during the pandemic, according to Oxfam, exacerbating economic inequality as the pandemic pushed millions of people around the world into poverty.

Using data compiled by Forbes, Oxfam says in a new report that the total wealth of billionaires jumped from $8.6 trillion in March 2020 to $13.8 trillion in November 2021, a bigger increase than in the previous 14 years combined. The world's richest 10 men saw their collective wealth more than double, shooting up by $1.3 billion a day. 
The report was released ahead of the World Economic Forum's online Davos Agenda, which will take place this week after the group's annual in-person meeting was delayed due to Omicron. Oxfam argues that governments should tax gains made by the super-rich during the pandemic and use the money to fund health care systems, pay for vaccines, fight discrimination and address the climate crisis.
“Billionaires have had a terrific pandemic. Central banks pumped trillions of dollars into financial markets to save the economy, yet much of that has ended up lining the pockets of billionaires riding a stock market boom," Gabriela Bucher, Oxfam's executive director, said in a press release.
The combined wealth of the top 10 billionaires — including Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and Amazon (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos — doubled during the pandemic and is now six times greater than that of the world's poorest 3.1 billion people, according to the report.
"Inequality at such pace and scale is happening by choice, not chance," Bucher said. "Not only have our economic structures made all of us less safe against this pandemic, they are actively enabling those who are already extremely rich and powerful to exploit this crisis for their own profit."
The World Bank estimates that 97 million people worldwide fell into extreme povertyin 2020 and are now living on less than $2 a day. The number of the world's poorest also rose for the first time in over 20 years.
Vaccine inequality has become a major issue as many of the world's richest countries hoard shots, buying up enough doses to vaccinate their populations several times over and failing to deliver on their promises to share them with the developing world.
Billionaires are being asked to use their wealth to help the less fortunate. 
David Beasley, director of the United Nations' World Food Programme, called on billionaires including Bezos and Musk to "step up now, on a one-time basis" to help solve world hunger in November.
    The call-out got a direct response from Musk, who later said on Twitter that if the organization could lay out "exactly how" the funding would solve the issue, he would "sell Tesla stock right now and do it."
    The CEO did not publicly respond when the UN released a plan.

    Pakistan faces alarming surge in diabetes cases: report

    Pakistan records high cases of diabetes


    The prevalence of diabetes in Pakistan has increased significantly as 33 million adults are now living with diabetes in the country with an increase of 70 per cent, according to the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF).

    The report, ranking the world’s top countries for a number of adults (20–79 years) with diabetes in 2021 has put Pakistan in third place with a total of 33 million, after China (141 million) and India (74 million).

    One in four adults (26.7%) in Pakistan is living with diabetes - the highest national prevalence in the world, the report claimed and said that an additional 11 million adults in Pakistan have Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), which places them at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

    Meanwhile, more than a quarter (26.9%) of adults living with diabetes in Pakistan remains undiagnosed, which means that undetected or inadequately treated diabetic people are at risk of serious and life-threatening complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and lower-limb amputation.

    These factors result in poor quality of life and higher healthcare costs, the report added.

    Need for accessible healthcare

    Read More: Diabetes may cause eye disorders, say experts

    The IDF says that 537 million adults are now living with diabetes worldwide - a rise of 16% (74 million) since the previous IDF estimates in 2019.

    "The rapidly rising level of diabetes in Pakistan presents a significant challenge to the health and well-being of individuals and families in the country," says Professor Abdul Basit, director of Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology at Baqai Medical University.

    He said that this year marks 100 years since the discovery of insulin, noting that the milestone presents a unique opportunity to reflect on the impact of diabetes and highlights the urgent need to improve access to care for the millions affected. He said that an estimated one in two people with diabetes across the world who need insulin cannot access or afford it.

    “We must do more to provide affordable and uninterrupted access to diabetes care for all in Pakistan, and around the world. Joint efforts are needed to improve the lives of people with diabetes and prevent the condition in those at high risk of developing it," Basit added.

    Globally, 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. The rise in the number of people with type 2 is driven by a complex interplay of socio-economic, demographic, environmental and genetic factors while the key contributors include urbanization, an ageing population, decreasing levels of physical activity and increased levels of overweight and obesity.

    Evidence suggests that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented, while early diagnosis and access to appropriate care for all types of diabetes can avoid or delay complications in people living with the condition.

    What Bill Gates is ‘most worried about heading into 2022’

     

    Bill gates 2022


    For the most part, Bill Gates is optimistic about 2022. But the billionaire Microsoft co-founder still has a few concerns heading into the coming year.

    In Gates' recently published end-of-year blog post, titled "Reasons for optimism after a difficult year," he made multiple rosy prognostications — from the Covid pandemic potentially ending to the oncoming rise of the metaverse.


    But one particular problem could slow or derail much of that progress, he predicted: people's distrust of governments. "It's one of the issues I'm most worried about heading into 2022," he wrote.


    Public institutions, Gates noted, need to be major players in fights like addressing climate change or preventing the next pandemic. But they can only do so much if people reject their guidance on principle.


    "If your people don't trust you, they're not going to support major new initiatives," Gates wrote. "And when a major crisis emerges, they're less likely to follow guidance necessary to weather the storm."


    Such distrust has become particularly evident since the pandemic hit: Covid misinformation has spreadacross both the U.S. and the rest of the world, hampering the country's vaccination rates and ultimately delaying the end of the pandemic.


    But Pew Research Center research from pre-Covid times showed similar trends: In a 2019 poll of American adults, 75% of respondents said their fellow citizens' trust in the federal government was shrinking.


    Another 64% of polltakers said Americans' trust with each other was shrinking, too. And about four in ten respondents thought the mistrust made it harder to handle issues like health care, immigration and gun violence.

    In Gates' blog post, he noted that 24-hour news cycles, politically incentivized headlines and social media have each played a role in the "growing divide" — and that governments may need regulate online platforms to effectively dispel misinformation.


    It's already a focus for some lawmakers in Washington D.C. In October, former Facebook engineer Frances Haugen testified before a Senate committee about the company's misinformation "crisis," a potential early step toward social media platform regulations.

    Time may be of the essence. Gates expressed concern that without quick intervention, Americans may grow more likely to elect politicians who publicly express and encourage distrust. The snowball effect could then cause the public to "become even more disillusioned."


    It's a tricky problem to solve — and even Gates said he's unsure how to proceed.

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