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‘Delta Omicron Epsilon’: Billionaire banker Rich Handler makes derogatory ‘Wuhan’ reference on Instagram

Rich Handler
Rich Handler
  • Rich Handler, billionaire CEO of the investment bank Jeffries Financial Group, referenced the variants of COVID in a public Instagram story last Thursday.

  • “Delta Omicron Epsilon is the National Honor Society for Economics Majors, not the three towns next to Wuhan,” he wrote.

  • Handler tested positive for COVID in Dec. 2021, shortly after requesting staff stay home and work remotely due to the Omicron variant.

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In a public Instagram Story posted on Thursday, Jeffries Financial Group CEO Rich Handler made a joke referring to “Wuhan” and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Handler, who became a billionaire in 2021, has a notable social media presence, as noted by Bloomberg in a recent profile that referred to his “offbeat Instagrams.” His official profile has about 30,000 followers. 

Last Thursday, Handler posted his resume from 1987 to Instagram, and then posted several slides answering questions about his then-work experience. In one of the slides, he wrote “Delta Omicron Epsilon is the National Honor Society for Economics Majors, not the three towns next to Wuhan.”

His post referred to Omicron Delta Epsilon, an international honor society for economics with nearly 700 chapters in 11 countries, which Handler had been elected to while attending the University of Rochester, according to the resume. The joke also referred to the recent coronavirus variants that have designated names with Greek letters as “towns next to Wuhan.” The post is still on his profile, under his story highlights. 

Referring to COVID-19 as the “China” or “Wuhan” virus has been tied to a rise in anti-Asian bias. Hate crimes against AAPIs rose 73% in 2020, according to the FBI.

Handler announced on Dec. 19 that he had tested positive for coronavirus just days after Jeffries moved staff back to a virtual and remote model following the increase of cases because of the omicron variant in New York City. In March 2020, then-CFO of Jeffries Peregrine “Peg” Broadbent passed away due to complications from COVID-19.  

Feature Image via Zoetis

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