While many Americans are fighting over toilet paper and other home essentials and worrying about how they'll pay the rent and bills after being laid off, the wealthy are experiencing much smoother sailing during the crisis, both literally and figuratively.
Music and movie mogul David Geffen, who is worth $7.7 billion, escaped the pandemic, sailing to the Grenadines aboard his yacht, according to Forbes. The private jet market is doing a brisk business whisking the elite out of major cities to their rural homes in less congested areas.
The superrich also have access to medical care that the average citizen doesn't: faster testing, personal doctors, and luxury at-home care complete with personal ventilators. Rich Russians, for example, are building their own clinics and snapping up medical equipment, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Former White House doctor Connie Mariano, who looked after former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, says the demand for her $15,000 concierge practice has skyrocketed over the past few weeks.
"A lot are so grateful to be able to reach out in the middle of the night," she said, according to the Journal. "That relieves a lot of anxiety. If someone needs to be sent to the hospital, we get a way to get them in."
The rich also have access to crucial testing. CURE Daily, a medical facility based in Malibu, California, counts many celebrities and athletes as its clients who pay upward of $1,000 monthly plus extra for its services. Medical director Lisa Benya was able to get a patient tested immediately after she heard him cough into the phone, according to the Journal.
In Russia, the wealthy are no longer able to travel abroad to get superior medical care, so they're setting up their own clinics in offices and private homes. Rich Russians have been scooping up ventilators, at a cost of more than $25,000, to use in their personal facilities, says the Journal.
Stateside, according to Forbes, NBA athletes, actors, politicians, and the wealthy have better healthcare plans and can afford high out-of-pocket expenses. Billionaire Kenneth Langone, the co-founder of Home Depot, has an entire hospital named after him, NYU Langone Health, so he's got easy access to top medical care.
The rich are also fleeing to areas in the country where the threat is lower than the states they live in. This mass exodus prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a travel advisory, urging residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from "non-essential travel" for 14 days, says Forbes.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., summed it up: "Half of our people are living from paycheck to paycheck. We've got people struggling working two or three jobs to put food on the table. What is going to happen to them? While the rich make their getaways, the less affluent are forced to deal with finding childcare, food, and jobs."
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