Supervisors Gordon Mar and Matt Haney have revived a proposal to nix the “Zuckerberg” from Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and hospital staff apparently hate the name too.
There has long been criticism that Mark Zuckerberg’s sizable charitable donations are really just a tax dodge scam, or as the New York Times puts it, an “investment vehicle” that just so happens to facilitate massive tax avoidance. Zuckerberg and his wife do not actually donate money, but instead Facebook stock, through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that is an LLC — not a charitable organization, and has an army of lawyers and accountants for whom the IRS is no match. Would San Francisco, America, and the whole world be better off if billionaires just paid their taxes instead of setting up elaborately constructed charity efforts?
Massive advertising boycott of Facebook for failing to regulate hate speech & disinformation
Huge staff walk outs & protests. Cozy relationship w Trump, $ to Republicans.
Much of it seems directly tied to Mark Zuckerberg
Why is his name still on our SF public general hospital?
— Matt Haney (@MattHaneySF) June 28, 2020
Consider this question in the context of Zuckerberg SF General Hospital, a name the Zuckerberg-Chans bought themselves in 2015 for $75 million. (Technically its full name is Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, but Chan’s name, as is typical in the patriarchy, has mostly been dropped.) Despite the charity/vanity naming rights gesture, Zuck is now more known for demolishing the concept of privacy, enabling the destruction of fair elections, and being a reliable lapdog to Trump and to far-right media figures. That’s why KTVU reports that Supervisors Gordon Mar and Matt Haney have proposed removing the name “Zuckerberg” from SF General Hospital, similar to what Sup. Aaron Peskin proposed in late 2018.
“As advertisers leave Facebook in droves due to inaction in the face of hate speech, and employees stage walkouts, it frankly does not make sense for San Francisco’s public hospital to continue to hold Mr. Zuckerberg’s name,” Haney said in a statement to KPIX. “We deeply appreciate the original donation, but it shouldn’t have ever come with permanent advertising rights on this public hospital that belongs to the people of San Francisco.”
The doctors and nurses at Zuckerberg General Hospital are apparently not wild about the name either. “Whether we like it or not, Zuckerberg’s name is attached to our institution,” physician Dr. Robert Brody wrote to staff in an email obtained by Stat News. “Looking into a future desperate for institutional funding, our leaders are unlikely to support any effort to change the official name back to San Francisco General Hospital. But that doesn’t mean we, who work here, have to use the Z name or letter.”
KPIX adds that the proposed legislation comes with future guidelines to “establish clear standards to ensure that naming rights for public institutions and properties go only to organizations whose practices align with the city’s values.” It is unclear whether Zuckerberg would be reimbursed for his previous donation if his name were removed.
But SFist proposes another option to give both sides what they want: Let Zuckerberg keep his name on the hospital, but only if he and his family, little Maxima and August and all of their future generations, pay all of their full taxes every year, in perpetuity, forever and ever. That would be worth a lot more than $75 million!
Related: Zuckerberg Hospital Revises Insane Billing Practices After Media Exposés [SFist]
Image: LuisVilla via Wikimedia Commons