Culture & Society Hungary News Politics & International

George Soros donates €1m to Budapest in fight against coronavirus

Budapest, Hungary – George Soros’ Open Society Foundations has donated 1 million euros to the city of Budapest, in order to contribute to the capital’s battle against the coronavirus, announced the Hungarian-born philanthropist on Monday.

“The COVID-19 pandemic knows no boundaries, not between countries, communities, religions or people,” said Soros. “Anyone can become infected, but some of us are more vulnerable than others.”

The city and its municipalities find themselves in an increasingly difficult situation of trying to maintain social welfare and services in an emergency, with already severely limited public resources, claims the statement. 

“I was born in Budapest, in the middle of the Great Depression, barely a decade after the Spanish Flu left thousands of dead in Budapest. I lived through World War II, the Arrow Cross rule, and the siege in the city. I remember what it is like to live in extreme circumstances,”, gives Soros his reasons for supporting Budapest.

Since the first case was reported at the start of the month, Hungary has now reported 447 cases of the novel coronavirus, and 15 deaths.

The United Nations, along with numerous NGOs and civil society organizations, have expressed deep concerns over Hungary’s handling of the pandemic, warning some of its measures threaten the rule of law, the freedom of the press and would “give the government practically unlimited powers”.

Earlier this month, government-related, right-wing online news platform Pesti Srácok spread fake news about a missing Iranian student at George Soros’ Central European University, claiming he could be a potential “carrier of the coronavirus”, and has gone missing “in order to avoid being put in quarantine”.

By Zsofi Borsi

A Budapest-born politics and economics graduate of Durham University, UK, Zsofi Borsi wrote her thesis on conspiracy theories present in Hungarian online political discourse. She currently pursues her graduate studies at Central European University in Budapest and Vienna. Zsofi has worked as an intern at various political and non-governmental organisations in Hungary, such as Political Capital Research and Consultancy Institute, Tom Lantos Institute or Klubrádió. To check out her latest articles, it’s right here!

Coordinated by Ábel Bede, Kafkadesk's Budapest office is made up of a growing team of freelance journalists, editors and fact-checkers passionate about Hungarian affairs and dedicated to bringing you all the latest news, events and insights from Hungary.