Last year Mark Zuckerberg announced he was giving away 99% of his Facebook stock to what is essentially his
own charity LLC, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. On top of being a strategic tax labyrinth, the Initiative’s stated goal was to advance human potential and promote equality, which, OK then.
Yesterday, Zuckerberg finally shed light on a more concrete objective of his and his wife Priscilla Chan’s operation.
Speaking at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative launch event in San Francisco, the duo announced a $3 billion commitment to cure – or at least prevent or manage – “all diseases in our children’s lifetime.” Cancer, heart disease, infectious diseases, and neurological diseases are all in Zuck’s line of fire.
Very bold. (Bill Gates’ words, not ours.)
Zuckerberg’s vision is to “bring scientists and engineers together … [to] build tools and technology, [and] grow the movement to fund science.”
So essentially what every effort around the world aimed at fighting disease has been focused on doing for many decades. It’s not that we’re objectively pessimistic, but we’re going to need a little more promise than some very smart people working together in what Zuckerberg outlined as a three-university collaboration to get excited about a financial commitment two-thirds that of Washington’s annual cancer research funding.
That said, we’d much rather see Zuckerberg and Chan in charge of medical money than, say, Martin Shkreli.
“Our society spends 50x more treating people who are sick than on finding cures. We can do better than that,” said Zuckerberg, adding that the program hopes to eventually make all diseases treatable — or at least easily manageable — by the end of the 21st century.
Watch the pitch below: