UN Secretary-General condemns Bezos, Branson, and Musk for “joyriding” in space “while millions go hungry.”
In the midst of the world’s rising hunger crisis, a UN chief lambasted Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson for “joyriding in space.”
During his opening remarks at the United Nations General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ripped into the billionaire race to space. In his speech, Guterres emphasized the widening disparity between rich and poor people, which he referred to as “another illness” afflicting society.
He continued by saying, “Another cancer is growing in our world today: a malady of mistrust.” “When people witness promises of progress being shattered by the hard realities of their everyday existence. When their fundamental rights and liberties are limited. When they come upon minor — as well as enormous — corruption.
“When they watch billionaires having fun in space while millions on Earth go starving. When parents envisage a future for their children that is even more grim than today’s difficulties.”
Food banks in the United States have seen an increase in demand since March 2020, when a series of COVID-19 lockdowns left millions of Americans jobless. According to a survey by Catholic Relief Services, more than 820 million Americans, the majority of whom are children, are malnourished, leading many to sell assets or go into debt to avoid famine.
Bezos and Branson traveled to space in their private rockets this summer, prompting Guterres’ remarks.
Bezos, who was joined in orbit by his brother Mark, 82-year-old space race pioneer Wally Funk, and an unidentified 18-year-old student, spent just over 10 minutes in space before returning to Earth.
On June 11, Branson flew with chief astronaut trainer Beth Moses, lead operations engineer Colin Bennett, and VP of government affairs Sirisha Bandla in a Virgin Galactic spacecraft. He was in space for around 15 minutes before returning to Earth.
Both trips cost billions of dollars while barely spending a fraction of a second in space. According to Business Insider, a seat on Branson’s VSS Unity and Bezos’ New Shepard costs $28 million each.
Musk’s aerospace business SpaceX launched four amateur astronauts on the Inspiration4 from the Kennedy Space Center on Sept. 15, making it the first all-civilian crew to reach orbit.
The three-day journey was sponsored by Jared Isaacman, the CEO of Shift4 Payments, a 38-year-old billionaire. He was accompanied by Hayley Arceneaux, a bone cancer survivor and physician assistant, Sian Proctor, a college professor and licensed pilot, and former Air. Brief News from Washington Newsday.