LOS ANGELES — After its $10 million donation this week to the University of Washington Medicine’s emergency response fund, a philanthropic group founded by Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, says it has pledged more than $25 million thus far toward organizations working to blunt the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The Ballmer Group said its latest donation toward the healthcare system in Seattle, where the Ballmers live, will be used to accelerate testing for a virus vaccine.
“Testing is the most immediate priority right now as we try to reduce community spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Paul Ramsey, UW Medicine’s chief executive. “Private philanthropy, like Connie and Steve Ballmer’s extraordinary gift, is critical to expanding testing at the speed and scale required to save lives. We are incredibly grateful for their leadership during this crisis.”
The group has also continued to give grants for short-term, immediate needs in southeastern Michigan, where Ballmer grew up, and Los Angeles, the home of his NBA team.
Last week, the group announced $1 million in gifts toward the Los Angeles County’s Office of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District and to help low-wage workers and the homeless. Since then, more funds in Los Angeles have been granted toward providing childcare for first responders, healthcare workers and workers deemed “essential”; and helping workers at small businesses and nonprofits access publicly available funds.
Earlier this week, Ballmer agreed to spend $400 million to purchase the Forum, as a means of moving along the Clippers’ proposed arena project in Inglewood.
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