Google cofounder and billionaire Larry Page has been quietly pursuing a crusade against the flu.
Page, along with Google cofounder Sergey Brin, stepped back from Google's parent company earlier this month, leading to speculation about what he might get up to next. Page is one of the wealthiest people in the world with a net worth of almost $65 billion.
According to TechCrunch , Page has been involved with funding flu vaccinations. He is reportedly funding an initiative called "Shoo the Flu," which offers free flu shots to schoolchildren in Oakland, California.
According to TechCrunch, which obtained documents detailing Page's involvement with anti-flu causes, the initiative is in fact wholly funded by a for-profit company controlled by Page.
Shoo the Flu's website states that "students in Transitional Kindergarten (TK) through 5th grade (and in some cases up to 8th grade) at participating schools can get the flu vaccine for free in school, during school hours."
Page also has a second firm, Flu Lab, which funds research aimed at eradicating the flu altogether. The World Health Organisation estimates that up to 650,000 people across the world die from flu each year.
Page is not the only person the two firms have in common. The director of Shoo the Flu, Casey Wright, is also the CEO of Flu Lab.
The two firms are set to become intertwined further: the same TechCrunch report added that Shoo the Flu will soon become a part of Flu Lab, though a precise date is not given.
As both Shoo the Flu and Flu Lab count as private companies, the full extent of Page's anti-flu spending is not clear.
But since Page's donations to Shoo the Flu come from his Carl Victor Page Memorial Foundation, which is required to file public returns, the amount Page has donated to Shoo the Flu is clear: TechCrunch puts the figure at $4.1 million between 2015 and 2017.