American billionaires have gotten richer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 25, 2020

According to a report published by the Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies, America’s 600-pus billionaires saw their net worth increase by at least 15% during the first two months of the coronavirus pandemic.

The report shows that the billionaires’ total net worth around March 18 was about $2.948 trillion.  By May 19, that figure jumped by $434 billion to $3.382 trillion.

Some of the billionaires on the list include well known public figures such as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison, whose combined wealth increased by 19%, or $75.5 billion.

The report states that, “Decades of tax cuts for the rich have fueled the growth of billionaires and their wealth. And even in the midst of the greatest national emergency since World War II, tax handouts to the wealthy have continued—most recently in the form of the ‘Millionaires Giveaway’ slipped into the CARES pandemic relief law enacted in late March.”

Just two weeks ago the Associated Press compared the U.S. unemployment rate of 14.7% to that of the great depression of the 1930’s.

In April alone, about 20.5 million jobs were lost due to government enforced lockdown orders, which also sparked protests in many parts of the U.S., with people demanding that governors reopen non-essential businesses.

More recently, Goldman Sachs analysts have estimated that the U.S. unemployment rate could actually rise to above 25%. However, with more and more states slowly reopening, that unemployment figure may be unlikely, especially if there is not a second waive of the coronavirus.