Microsoft throws $1 million at Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) a big deal? I suppose so. Look, any virus should be taken seriously. I mean, people are dying from it. With that said, it isn't exactly Ebola -- for most folks, contracting it will result in a mild sickness. Hell, some will show no symptoms at all. There is certainly no need to fight fellow shoppers for toilet paper, water, and Purell. Believe it or not, humanity will ultimately defeat COVID-19, as we have with every other Coronavirus before it. The world is not ending, people.
With all of that said, we should absolutely approach COVID-19 in a very serious and scientific way, but sadly, the USA Government has severely botched the response. President Trump's dangerous mistruths and misleading statements have contributed to panic-shopping, the spread of false information, and a lack of testing for the disease. Thankfully, as a capitalist country, the USA can turn to the private sector to save the day. For example, Microsoft is generously pledging $1 million to the Puget Sound COVID-19 Response Fund. But that's not all. The Surface-maker will additionally match all employee donations to that fund.
"As our community focuses on public health needs during the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s important that we also rally together to address the unmet economic needs developing around us. That’s why we’re partnering today with the two largest broad-based regional foundations to strengthen the community’s safety net through this crisis. The Seattle Foundation, United Way of King County, Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks, in coordination with King County and the City of Seattle, will launch a regional COVID-19 Response Fund (CRF) to address the emerging community needs of COVID-19. Microsoft is making an initial $1 million anchor donation to help launch this effort immediately," says Brad Smith, Microsoft President.
Smith further explains, "Criteria for the initial emergency response stage are being developed to ensure the dollars are allocated in a targeted, agile and responsive manner where the dollars are needed most. Initial grants will support organizations doing work with priority populations, such as: people without sick leave or health insurance; medically fragile populations; hourly and gig economy workers; healthcare workers and people with limited English-language proficiency. The group will raise funds throughout the epidemic and recovery phases, to allocate resources as needs emerge and evolve."
In addition to this incredible donation of a million bucks, Microsoft is also supporting its employees in an amazing way. As many other companies are doing, it is permitting its employees to work from home (remotely) to minimize the spread of the disease. Taking it a step further, the Windows-maker will even pay its hourly workers regardless of whether they are required to report for duty. In other words, if an hourly employee is not needed, and is asked to stay home, they will still get their paycheck. Wow.
What do you think about Microsoft's generosity? Should all companies adopt such an employee-focused approach? Please tell me in the comments below.