After the recent run-up in Tesla’s stock price, Elon Musk has once again reclaimed his short-lived position as the richest person in the world. Musk is currently worth more than $310 billion which makes him the first individual in modern history to have amassed a net worth north of $300 billion.
And as the richest person in the world, there have been increased calls for Musk to help out various social causes. Not to mention the increased scrutiny he’s facing, with the US government proposing a new billionaire tax that could cost him as much as $50 billion in the next 5 years.
And the latest call for Elon Musk to share his wealth comes from the director of the UN’s World Food Programme, David Beasley. Beasley’s call for Elon Musk’s help began on October 19 when a surge in Tesla’s stock price saw Elon Musk’s net worth increase by $6 billion in a day.
At the time Beasley wrote “42 million people are on famine’s edge this year. An unprecedented global crisis spiked by Covid. Starvation, destabilization of nations & mass migration if we do not respond. @elonmusk, you made $6 billion just yesterday—the exact $ we need to avert catastrophe! Please help!”
42 million people are on famine’s edge this year. An unprecedented global crisis spiked by Covid. Starvation, destabilization of nations & mass migration if we do not respond. @elonmusk, you made $6 billion just yesterday—the exact $ we need to avert catastrophe! Please help!— David Beasley (@WFPChief) October 19, 2021
Beasley followed up his plea the same day congratulating Elon Musk for passing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person and said as a celebration he will offer Musk a once in a lifetime opportunity to help save 42 million people from starvation “for just $6.6 billion. Offer expires SOON.. and lives do too.”
Congratulations to @elonmusk for passing up @JeffBezos as the world’s richest person - worth a whopping $221B! Elon, to celebrate I’m offering you a once in a lifetime opportunity: help us save 42M people from starvation for just $6.6B!! Offer expires SOON.. and lives do too.— David Beasley (@WFPChief) October 19, 2021
For whatever reason Musk had largely ignored Beasley’s request, which prompted the latter to go on Becky Anderson’s show on CNN and make the same plea once more. On the interview, Beasley reiterated most of the points he had already made on Twitter and followed it up by saying “just last week Elon Musk had a $36 billion net worth increase in one day” and emphasized how a small slice of Musk’s net worth could help save millions of lives.
CNN followed up the interview by writing an article titled “2% of Elon Musk’s Wealth could solve world hunger, says director of UN food scarcity organization”. Musk appeared to not agree with CNN’s headline and responded to a tweet fact-checking CNN which read 2% of @elonmusk's wealth is $6B. In 2020 the UN World Food Program (WFP) raised $8.4B. How come it didn't "solve world hunger"?”
Musk in his response said, “If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6 billion will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it.” Musk followed up saying “but it must be open-source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.”
If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2021
But it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2021
Beasley responded to Musk’s offer saying his organization never said the $6billion will solve world hunger permanently. And that it is “a one-time donation to save 42 million lives during this unprecedented hunger crisis.”
Adding the $8.4 billion WFP has raised so far has been used “to cover what we needed to reach 115 million people in 2020 with food assistance.” Beasley added, “we need $6 billion-plus NOW on top of our existing funding requirements due to the perfect storm from the compounding impact of Covid, conflict, and climate shocks.”
In Beasley’s defense, he admits CNN’s headline is wrong and if you actually listened to his interview embedded in the CNN article he never claimed the 6 billion would solve world hunger but rather will be used to feed the 42 million extra people in need of food assistance this year.
Musk on his part only made the promise to sell Tesla stock on the spot and offer it to WFP if $6 billion could solve world hunger. However, Musk never made the promise to offer that money to feed the 42 million individuals in need of food assistance.
As of now, we still don’t know if Elon Musk believes the cause is worthy enough for him to still sell his Tesla stock or if he felt like Beasley’s answer wasn’t good enough for him to do so. We will be sure to keep you posted as more information comes out. Make sure to visit our site torquenews.com/Tesla regularly for the latest information.
So what do you think? Do you think Elon Musk and the remaining billionaires have a moral responsibility to help out in such kind of crisis? If you were in Musk’s position would you have donated the $6 billion? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.
For more information check out: Elon Musk Advises Warren Buffett To Invest In Tesla & Thinks Bill Gates’ Tesla Short Position Could Be Stopping Him Also, see Elon Musk Is Thinking To Start a Texas Institute of Technology & Science
Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.