PHOENIX, Sept 22 (Xinhua) -- U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday lashed out at billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Bransons at the U.N. General Assembly. Guterres says millions of people on Earth are still starving, while Bezos and Branson are traveling in space.
Pictured: Musk, Bezos and Branson
The general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly kicked off on the 21st at United Nations Headquarters in New York. In his opening remarks, Guterres told other world leaders that billionaires' rush to travel to space was proof of the huge gap between the poor and the rich.
Guterres points out that ordinary people see their rights denied, that it is difficult to solve the problem of food and clothing, that the rich are traveling in space, and that a "no-confidence epidemic" is spreading around the world. In the eyes of parents, he says, their children's future looks bleaker than today's struggles. But at the same time, they see billionaires traveling in space at a time when millions of people on Earth are starving.
Blue Origin, the space company owned by Bezos, and Virgin Galactic, which is owned by Branson, have yet to comment.
This summer, Bezos and Branson went into outer space on their own private rockets. Although they stayed in space for only a short time, the trip cost billions of dollars and attracted global attention.
Bezos and Branson's trip to space has been heavily criticised, with calls for them to pay higher taxes. News investigative website ProPublica reported that Bezos did not pay a penny of income tax for at least two years from 2016 to 2018. Following the report's release, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren criticized Bezos' space travel. "He's laughing at everyone who pays taxes in america." Warren said.
After completing his trip to space, Bezos thanked Amazon workers and donated $200 million to honor the winners of the Courage and Civilization Award. He also thanked his critics.
Last week, Elon Musk's SpaceX completed its first "all-civilian" manned mission, The Nation4. Although Musk himself has not gone into space, he has been criticized for focusing some of his environmental efforts on outer space. Musk's long-term goal for SpaceX is to colonize Mars.
"I think we should devote the vast majority of our resources to solving the problems on Earth. For example, more than 99 percent of our economy should be used to solve problems on Earth," Musk said in a Netflix documentary about the 4 Mission, "but I think maybe 1 percent or less of the economy should be used to sustain life beyond Earth." If life is only a matter, what is the point of living? ”
The Inspiration 4 mission also included a fundraiser aimed at raising $200 million for St. Jude's Child Disease Research Hospital. Musk himself donated $50 million.
SpaceX has yet to comment. (Author/Yu Yu)
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