Five rich people who are not handling the coronavirus crisis well… at all

Images of Sam Smith, Isabel Oakeshot, Richard Branson, Madonna, and Donald Trump
Kerry-anne Mendoza

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:

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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.

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:

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:

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.

5. Melt

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.

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:

 

Featured image via Twitter / Ghostink – Wikimedia / Chatham House – Wikimedia / Pitony Photography – Wikimedia / Gage Skidmore – Flickr

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  • Show Comments
    1. If Trump does dip his hand into the cookie jar to compensate himself he will take America one step closer to a klepto-regime like the Marcos’. The Clintons and Obamas did it, they must have done to acquire all their wealth after their presidencies, but Trump will be the first to demonstrate it.

      Former US President Harry Truman said, “You can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook.” All we could add to that is you’ve got to become a war criminal too.

    2. Awwwwww poor ickle wickle diddum widdums! They could all do with a spell wiping old people’s arses in an NHS geriatric unit so they can learn what hard work and hardship really is, only they would all run off to the States whining that the “commies” had sent them to a “gulag”!

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