Li Wenliang, Ophthalmologist, Wuhan Central Hospital. Being one of the first to sound the alarm about COVID-19, he was detained and forced to recant his warning. After his release, the 34-year old doctor went back to treat patients only to become infected by the all-too-real disease, and then, on Feb. 7th, succumbed to it.
Chris Gregoire, CEO. A former Washington governor, brought hard-hit Seattle’s business community together early in the city’s outbreak.
Jack Ma, Cofounder, Alibaba. A strong advocate of U.S.-Chinese cooperation during his time running Alibaba, Ma cut through geopolitical tensions to donate thousands of testing kits and a million face masks to the CDC, while facilitating the shipment of 1,000 ventilators to New York State.
Governors (Jay Inslee, Gretchen Whitmore & Mike DeWine). From Washington’s Inslee, who had to invent the playbook for fighting the disease on U.S. soil when his state was the first hit, to Whitmer, who refused to back down when attacked by President Trump over her demand that the federal government step up to help, to DeWine, who has held the line on his stay-at-home order, despite pressure from protesters and his own party
Anthony Fauci, Director, NIH. After mixed signals and inaction initially handicapped the federal reaction to the coronavirus, Fauci emerged as the administration’s most trusted authority figure. He has assuaged the public by speaking plainly, frequently, and honestly in briefings. And his candor about mistakes—“It’s a failing, let’s admit it,” he told Congress of the government’s testing efforts—has helped prompt the White House to course-correct.
Rachel Bedard, Geriatrician. Bedard, who cares for the oldest and sickest in New York City’s correctional system, has refused to allow the risk to her incarcerated patients to be overlooked.
Jose Andres, Founder, World Central Kitchen. The chef and restaurateur has thrown himself into nourishing those affected by the crisis, forklifting food onto quarantined cruise ships and serving nearly 100,000 meals a day to health care workers and others in hotspots.
George Yancopoulos, Chief Scientific Officer, cofounder, Regeneron. Regeneron and Yancopoulos are racing to fight COVID-19 on two fronts. The company’s rheumatoid arthritis drug sped into clinical trials in March after evidence emerged from China that it may help the most severely ill patients. Since January, Yancopoulos’s team has also been developing an antibody cocktail—the same approach that helped Regeneron deliver an Ebola drug last year—to treat the disease and serve as a prophylaxis for medical workers.
Mary Barra, CEO, GM. GM was the first big American automaker to commit its idle assembly lines to the fight against COVID-19. Barra stood fast in the face of criticism and reaped the benefits: On April 8, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded GM a $489 million contract to deliver 30,000 ventilators by the end of August.
Bill Gates, cofounder, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates put his money in 2017 behind CEPI, an organization that has already ushered eight COVID-19 vaccine candidates into development. In February, Gates deployed funding to ready critical public health infrastructure in Africa and South Asia for the virus’s onslaught.
Source: Fortune, 2020.
John J. “Black Jack” Pershing
George S. Patton
William T. Sherman
Source: King, J. (2017, September 21). Who are the greatest Army generals? Modern War Institute at West Point. https://mwi.usma.edu/greatest-army-generals/
Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
Elon Musk (Tesla)
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
Mark Benioff (Salesforce.com)
Reed Hastings (Netflix)
Satya Nadella (Microsoft)
Shantanu Narayen (Adobe)
Tim Cook (Apple)
Arne Sorenson (Marriott International)
Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Alphabet)
Source: Forbes, 2020.