1. Li Ka-shing, business magnate and philanthropist
Superman by name, Superman by nature. Ninety-one-year-old Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing—who was given the nickname decades ago for the huge influence he wields over the city’s economy—sprang into action soon after the Covid-19 virus emerged in Wuhan, donating HK$100 million to the Chinese city in early February. That money was used to support healthcare workers through the magnate’s Li Ka‑shing Foundation, the second largest private foundation in the world after that of Bill and Melinda Gates.
A week later, he gave 250,000 face masks to 13 social welfare organisations and six homes for the elderly in Hong Kong, as well as medical supplies to doctors in public hospitals.
Some of Li’s previous philanthropic work—he has donated more than US$3 billion so far—is also bearing fruit during the current crisis. His HK$214 million donation to the University of Alberta in Canada in 2010 led to the establishment of the Li Ka-shing Institute of Virology, which is currently researching into the best ways to test, treat and vaccinate against Covid-19.
Similar research is being conducted at the Li Ka-shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong.
The faculty’s website on the subject of Covid-19 has become a go-to resource for governments and the public, offering everything from the latest research papers to easy-to-understand fact sheets on the virus.
Neither Li nor his foundation has announced what initiative or organisation they will be supporting next. But like Superman, he is likely to appear when you need him most.