One of the biggest questions, as the coronavirus crisis carries on — and on — is when it will end. Country megastar Dolly Parton might have helped get us that much closer to it.
Earlier this year, Parton — a brand unto herself with a reported net worth of $600 million — donated $1 million toward research for a Covid-19 vaccine. It turns out that funding went toward drugmaker Moderna’s vaccine, which has researchers excited because it’s said to offer 95 percent protection from the virus.
She made the donation back in April, after a friend, Dr. Naji Abumrad of the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation at Vanderbilt University, told her of “exciting advancements” his team was making toward finding a cure. The two met in 2014 when Parton was treated at the school’s hospital for injuries sustained in a car accident.
“I’m sure many, many millions of dollars from many people went into that [research fund] but I felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that hopefully will grow into something great and help to heal this world,” she told BBC’s The One Show. “Lord knows we need it!”
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Indeed — as of publication, there have been roughly 55.6 million cases of Covid-19 reported worldwide, and about 1.34 million deaths.
This is far from Parton’s first contribution to a good cause. In addition to being a legendary musician and composer, she’s a noted philanthropist who has given millions of dollars of her fortune away to promote literacy, music education, animal rights and more.