The combined wealth of America's billionaires, including Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, jumped more than 19% or by half a trillion since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, according to a report published by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).
During the 11 weeks from Mar 18, when US lockdowns started, the wealth of America's richest people surged by more than US$565 billion, while 42.6 million workers filed for unemployment, the report said.
“These statistics remind us that we are more economically and racially divided than at any time in decades,” said Chuck Collins, a co-author of the report.
During the 11 week period, Bezos saw his wealth soar by about US$36.2 billion while Zuckerberg's fortune surged by about US$30.1 billion. Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk's net worth also rose US$14.1 billion.
The past week also saw the wealth of US billionaires jump by US$79 billion, according to the report.