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Larry Ellison Confronts the Pandemic on Hawaiian Island He Controls

  • Lanai’s 3,000 residents hit by virus outbreak, tourism halt
  • Oracle billionaire controls nearly all the area’s businesses
The Four Seasons Hotel at Manele Bay on Lanai.
The Four Seasons Hotel at Manele Bay on Lanai.Photographer: Mark Peterson/Redux

Larry Ellison controls just about every part of Lanai, a Hawaiian island that for months was shielded from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic.

As Covid-19 swept across the U.S. mainland in the spring and summer, Lanai didn’t have a single case. Its 3,000 residents avoided mass layoffs while tourism plunged, protected by the billionaire who owns 98% of the island.