One might think that a full bank account, secure mansions, and private islands might keep the rich sane through the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. But unfortunately, we’re seeing meltdowns from the most pampered among us. Here are just five examples of rich people entirely failing to adult through the pandemic.
1. Material girl
Oh, Madonna. Holding forth on the coronavirus making us all equals, from your rose-petal-adorned milk bath, while a harp plays in the background? This is batshit behaviour:
— Madonna (@Madonna) March 22, 2020
Pretty sure the besieged inhabitants of the Gaza Strip have it tougher than you, babe.
But fans and critics alike were begging Madge to exercise a little self-awareness.
2. Branson in a pickle
Richard Branson’s fortune was estimated at $4.1bn as recently as January this year. And his Virgin Group company brings in over £16.6bn a year. Despite this, Branson asked Virgin Atlantic staff to take eight weeks of unpaid leave while they self-isolate and social distance. The average Virgin Atlantic flight attendant earns just over £15k a year. Going eight weeks without pay is simply not an option.
Branson could pay every one of Virgin Group’s 69,000 employees £2,000 for the next two months himself for £27.6m. This wouldn’t even dent his personal fortune. Instead, he’s asking skint staff to bailout his company with their own confiscated salaries.
As if this wasn’t insulting enough, Branson also urged the British government to give his industry a £7.5bn taxpayer bailout.
In short, while Branson and Virgin Group’s fortunes remain untapped, Virgin staff and the taxpayer keep his company afloat.
No, Richard. Just no.
Richard Branson (worth £4billion) asks his staff to take 8 weeks’ unpaid leave. My Dad (a small business owner and full time carer to my disabled Mum) promises to continue paying his staff and won’t pay himself while the business struggles. A crisis shows people’s true colours 🙌🏼
— Hollie Thomas (@hthomas31) March 18, 2020
Gary Neville has said his hotels will not make any redundancies and none of his staff need to take unpaid leave. He is going to hand his staff over to the NHS for extra capacity 👏
Richard Branson who is worth $4.1bn has told 8,500 of his staff they won’t be paid for 8 weeks…
— Freddie (@FreddieBailey96) March 18, 2020
Roman Abramovich and Richard Branson; the tale of two billionaires. One of them is being philanthropic in a time when it’s needed most and the other is asking his staff to take unpaid leave and is asking the government for +£7 billion to bail out his airline. https://t.co/gjxkyl8Lyb
— cory (@coryjed_) March 18, 2020
3. Education, education, education
The pandemic has hit young people, teachers, and parents hard. Students about to sit critical exams have had them deferred indefinitely. Teachers are moving out of their family homes in order to reach the children of key workers while keeping their own families safe. Parents are having to manage work and home-schooling their children. And for some families, all these things are happening at the same time. It’s tough.
And yet, rich people ‘problems’ are still a thing. Wealthy journalist Isabel Oakeshott asked us to spare a thought for her fellow wealthy parents at this difficult time:
Unbelievably some private schools are already sending parents invoices for next term's fees – in full. While parents home educate their kids…?🤔Absolute piss take @ISC_schools
— Isabel Oakeshott (@IsabelOakeshott) March 22, 2020
Not the most considerate post at a time of national crisis. The response was justifiably withering:
4. The Trump card
Billionaire US president Donald Trump interrupted his press conference on coronavirus yesterday to bemoan the life of the billionaire. In a bizarre rant that went on for minutes, Trump complained about how tough it is for rich people to run for office:
"It's far more costly [for rich people to run for office]… it’s a very tough thing" – President Trump
Now your turn – "It's more costly for rich people to… pic.twitter.com/a8NA8axAdX
— Jason Kint (@jason_kint) March 23, 2020
Only one US president since 1929 was not a millionaire – Harry Truman. And Trump is the wealthiest president in US history. This would suggest that wealth is a help rather than a hindrance to power in the United States.
President Trump just now during the coronavirus press conference: "I think it’s very hard for rich people to run for office. It's far more costly. It's very tough thing."
Yes, this is a direct quote.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 22, 2020
At press conference that’s supposed to be about the Coronavirus pandemic, Trump laments how much money he’s lost as president: “I think it’s very hard for rich people to run for office.”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) March 22, 2020
“Nobody said ‘thank you. It’s very hard for rich people to run for office.” – @realDonaldTrump Yeah the rich really have it tough. Maybe all Americans who are scared shitless now could kick in a few bucks to help you out. Oh, right that’s what the GOP bills does. You’re good here
— Bob Stannard (@Bob_Stannard) March 23, 2020
Singer-songwriter Sam Smith has a net worth of $40m (£34.35m) and is spending quarantine in their £12m mansion in North London. So when they took to social media to share their ‘quarantine meltdown’, Brits were not amused.
Sam Smith has multiple tens of millions of dollars. A “relatable” hero he is not. Instead he’s a whiny brat who can quarantine in luxury as others around the globe lose the income they need to survive as they share cramped living quarters with roommates/family.
STFU Pink News pic.twitter.com/rXsXjwyQIC
— Sophia Narwitz (@SophNar0747) March 22, 2020
On the left is Sam Smith, having “meltdown” because he is in quarantine in safety of his multimillion home.
On the right are women with their newborns who should be in quarantine, but are forced to leave the hospital due to today’s earthquake. #earthquake pic.twitter.com/3ftNVcMhaz
— Ana (@anaherz777) March 22, 2020
As a rule, if you’ve got a big house, food in your fridge, and healthy lungs right now, stop complaining. Or as one particularly articulate US citizen put it on Twitter:
To rich folks in mansions posting about how restless & bored you are here is some FREE advice:
The income disparity between the richest & poorest Americans is the highest it’s been in a half-century.
Nobody gives a shit if you’re bored. People are desperately trying to survive.
— Ryan Knight 🌹🌅 (@ProudResister) March 22, 2020
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