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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

LABJ Insider: Soon-Shiong Gives Back Abroad

While Covid-19 is receding locally thanks to vaccinations and other safety measures, much of the world continues to face stiff challenges in the fight against the pandemic.

Toward that end, billionaire and Immunity-Bio Inc. founder Patrick Soon-Shiong has pledged $213 million to support coronavirus efforts in South Africa.

Soon-Shiong, whose biotech companies have been in the thick of the race to develop vaccines, said he believes his native country can jumpstart efforts that will help the entire continent knock back the deadly virus.

Soon-Shiong’s ImmunityBio recently reached a deal to produce vaccines in conjunction with a South African company that is backed by the country’s government.    
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Elsewhere on the Covid front, the pace is picking up locally on the great reopening.

With the state’s June 15 target date to reopen the economy less than a month away, venues and businesses across Los Angeles County are either welcoming back more fans and customers, or they’re making plans to do so in the very near future.

And in one of the clearest signals yet that this summer will be nothing like the last one, the Hollywood Bowl last week announced a full slate of events for the season.

The iconic L.A. venue, which was shuttered last year, will reserve 85% of its seats for the fully vaccinated. The remaining spots require proof of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the performance.

Christina Aguilera, H.E.R., Herbie Hancock and special “Black Panther” screenings are all in the lineup, which kicks off July 4 weekend with shows by Kool & the Gang.

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Online sports gambling businesses have been focused outside of California for the most part. But a recent deal between FanDuel and Hollywood-based sports content site The Ringer brings digital sports betting closer to home

The Ringer, created by former ESPN star Bill Simmons, will use FanDuel as its exclusive sportsbook and fantasy partner across podcasts, social media, newsletters, video and web content. Another interesting step in the blurring of once solid lines between sports and gambling.

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