Democrat mega-donor George Soros’s Open Society Foundations has pledged to donate $130 million to fight the Chinese coronavirus pandemic and “[push] back against government encroachment on political freedoms,” the non-profit organization announced Thursday.
Open Society Foundations said the funds will be used for a wide range of causes, including support for low-income workers in the United States, countering “disinformation” in Europe, and emergency health care services in parts of Africa.
“The scale of this pandemic has laid bare the fault lines and injustices of our world,” George Soros, chairman of the Open Society Foundations, said in a statement. “We missed the opportunity to create a more just economy after the financial crisis of 2008 and provide a social safety net for the workers who are the heart of our societies. Today, we must change direction and ask ourselves: What kind of world will emerge from this catastrophe, and what can we do to make it a better one?”
“This is the first step of our ongoing response to address the economic and political dislocation wrought by this disease,” added Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations. “Our emergency relief efforts will support our grantees to immediately reach those who cannot access aid through government systems. But just as critically, we aim to ensure that the centers of power never again allow those who are the backbone of our economies to suffer in the shadows.”
Earlier April, the Hungarian-born hedge fund manager donated $1.1 million to help Budapest prepare for the coronavirus pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic knows no boundaries, not between countries, communities, religions or people. Anyone can become infected, but some of us are more vulnerable than others,” Soros told Forbes of the donation. “I was born in Budapest, in the middle of the Great Depression, barely a decade after the Spanish Flu left thousands of dead in Budapest. I lived through World War II, the Arrow Cross rule and the siege in the city. I remember what it is like to live in extreme circumstances.”
The announcement comes after reports revealed Soros spent $28.3 million on the 2020 presidential election in the first quarter of the race.
Soros’ $10 million will go to Win Justice, which mobilizes people of color and other infrequent voters who could be disenfranchised in the coming months as states battle over whether to hold in-person voting in November, an increasingly pressing concern among Democrats. He gave the money at a moment when many in the Democratic political world have warned that PACs and campaigns may run out of money as the economy — and with it, donors’ pocketbooks — seize up. […]
Soros gave millions of dollars in January and February to the main super PACs planning to help presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Democratic Senate candidates, including $5 million to pro-Biden Priorities USA and $7 million to Senate Majority PAC, which is aligned with Senate Democratic leadership. He also donated major sums to groups building political power among women, including a $1 million donation to EMILY’s List, and $2 million to Supermajority, a PAC co-founded by former Planned Parenthood leader Cecile Richards and Black Lives Matter activist Alicia Garza.
Despite dolling out millions on the 2020 election, Soros has yet to publically express support for the Democrat Party’s presumptive nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden. In October, the billionaire investor praised failed White House candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), calling her “the most qualified to be president.”