June 4, 2020 / 5:07 PM / a month ago

America's billionaire wealth jumps by over half a trillion during COVID-19 pandemic: report

FILE PHOTO: A woman counts U.S. dollar bills at her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 28, 2018. Picture taken August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci/File Photo

(Reuters) - The combined wealth of America’s billionaires, including Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) founder Jeff Bezos and Facebook Inc (FB.O) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, jumped over 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 March 18, when U.S. lockdowns started, the wealth of America’s richest people surged by over $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 $36.2 billion while Zuckerberg’s fortune surged by about $30.1 billion. Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk’s net worth also rose $14.1 billion.

The past week also saw the wealth of U.S. billionaires jump by $79 billion, according to the report.

Reporting by Abhishek Manikandan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.

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