One investor may fly to Idaho with or without family. A doctor in a Colorado ski town is soothing wealthy clients who want a cure. And one New Yorker called up the hospital with his name on it.

Like everyone across the U.S., the rich are bracing for a deadly coronavirus outbreak. Ken Langone, the co-founder of Home Depot Inc., watched President Donald Trump’s press conference and wondered if the media was overplaying the risk -- but he also made two well-placed phone calls from his winter outpost in North Palm Beach.

One was to a top executive of NYU Langone Health, and the other was to a top scientist there. Both were reassuring.

“What I’ve been told by people who are smarter than me in disease is, ‘As of right now it’s a bad flu,’” said Langone, an 84-year-old who loves capitalism so much that he wrote a book called “I Love Capitalism!” He plans to come back to New York this month for an appointment. If he happens to feel sick, he will go to NYU Langone, and said he’d expect no special treatment.

Some billionaires, bankers and other members of the U.S. elite are calm, others are getting anxious and everyone is washing their hands. But the rich can afford to prepare for a pandemic with perquisites, like private plane rides out of town, calls with world-leading experts and access to luxurious medical care.

“It’s been a full-on war-room situation over here,” said Jordan Shlain, an internist and managing partner of Private Medical, a high-end concierge service. The company is procuring hundreds of full-body coverings for work that includes visits in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and New York. “We have to beg, borrow or steal. Well, not steal -- beg, borrow and pay.”

Just Asking
Tim Kruse, a doctor who makes house calls in Aspen, Colorado, said “the wealthy aren’t going to necessarily have access to things that the common person is not going to have access to.” But that hasn’t stopped them from asking if they can get their hands on a coronavirus vaccine. “The answer is no. They just want to know.”

Confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide have passed 88,000, and more than 2,900 people have died. The World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment for the illness to “very high.” Fear over the economic fallout has upended global markets, plunging Treasury yields to all-time lows and giving the S&P 500 index its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.

One co-founder of a major hedge fund, who asked not to be named discussing his plans, said he’d run in the other direction if his peers start fleeing into doomsday bunkers. He might fly to a house he has in Italy, a country that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises Americans to avoid. Widespread panic, he added, would only make plane tickets cheaper.

Charles Stevenson, an investor who was the longtime board president at a Park Avenue co-op that’s home to several billionaires, has been staying in Southampton.

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