Wingstop CEO criticizes Gates for saying restaurants 'sadly' need to shut down
Lack of support for food industry is ‘unconscionable’: NYC restaurant owner
West~bourne owner and Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants co-founder Camilla Marcus says it seems like the government has ‘no plan’ for restaurant restrictions or financial support.
Wingstop CEO Charlie Morrison added to a chorus of voices criticizing billionaire Bill Gates for comments he made Sunday that bars and restaurants will "sadly" have to close as we go into this next wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
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"Our restaurant workers need to stay working, not cast aside by someone who has no concept of real life issues," Morrison wrote on LinkedIn Wednesday.
"These workers are doing everything to limit the spread because their livelihood depends on it. I would recommend Bill pack his next reading tote bag with the statistics on contact tracing and find the real sources (personal parties and gatherings perhaps where masks are optional) before making blanket statements that shut down an entire industry and put our nations [sic] second largest employee base out of business."
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Gates made the comments Sunday, telling CNN that "the next four to six months could be the worst of the epidemic."
"Bars and restaurants in most of the country will be closed as we go into this wave. And I think, sadly, that's appropriate," Gates told Jake Tapper.
Gates has been heavily involved in fighting the pandemic and developing a vaccine, recently donating another $250 million to the fight, which brings the total that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to $1.75 billion.
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But some criticized Gates, who is worth more than $100 billion, as being out of touch.
"I'm not sure Bill Gates knows how much a jug of detergent costs, let alone the human, the human problem that we have with this," Noah Blom, who owns two restaurants in California, told "America's Newsroom" Tuesday.
"It's frightening to see when you have a team of employees that come to you crying not knowing where their next dollar is coming from. There's a human cost, there's something that's more important than just this one understanding of a single number."
As cities and states shut down indoor dining over the coming weeks, restaurants are warning that they will have to shut down forever.
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The National Restaurant Association said last week that more than 110,000 restaurants have now closed permanently or long-term due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus cases are also surging nationwide right now, with 17,209,587 confirmed cases and 310,774 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
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