How Dolly Parton is helping to develop a COVID-19 vaccine

Drug company Moderna may be hailed as a wonder for coming up with a vaccine against COVID-19 that preliminary data shows is currently seen to be more than 94 percent effective, but we have more to thank than the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed for funding this breakthrough. 

In April, country music legend Dolly Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help fight the coronavirus pandemic — but we didn’t get wind of it until now. In a preliminary report on the vaccine by The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers credited the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund for being one of its supporters (via CNBC). The Guardian reports the donation was made after her friend, Dr. Naji Abumrad, had told her they were seeing “some exciting advancements” in their search for a cure. 

Her vaccine-related donation wasn’t the only act of philanthropy that Parton carried out towards finding a treatment for the coronavirus pandemic. She also financially supported the study of convalescent plasma, which involves treating those who are sick with the plasma of those who have the antibodies, as well as several research papers.

Social media praised Dolly Parton's donation

Social media was full of appreciation for Parton’s generosity. One doctor tweeted a photo of the acknowledgement that mentions Dolly Parton’s fund along with the caption: “Fact-checking this was worth it just to see @DollyParton in the acknowledgments of a @NEJM article. And I thought I couldn’t love her more.” And a public health expert tweeted: “Just a moment of profound gratitude to @DollyParton and her COVID-19 Research Fund. It’s a tremendously discouraging time. But still, we can always find the helpers. Don’t lose hope.” Another social media user posted of Dolly Parton: “That woman is a national treasure. Her COVID and AIDS research funds, Imagination Library, Dollywood, and wonderful music has helped so many people.” While a third simply noting: “Dolly is such a wonderful human.”

But there was also one that took the opportunity to throw shade at some of America’s richest, posting: “Gives the evil eye to Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffett” for their perceived inaction in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

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