Dolly Parton is a national treasure – quite literally it turns out. Soon after the pandemic reached the U.S., Parton qdonated $1 million dollars to COVID-19 research at Vanderbilt University. It turns out that it was a very wise investment – the money was ultimately used to fund Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, which was recently reported to be 94.5% effective.
This week, the New England Journal of Medicine released a preliminary report about the vaccine and noted “The Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund” as one of the vaccine’s sponsors. Parton had donated to the University on behalf of her friend and Vanderbilt professor of surgery, Dr. Naji Abumrad.
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At the time, she wrote on Instagram, “My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure. I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people who can afford it to make donations.”
“I feel like this was the time for me to open my heart and my hand and try to help,” she said on “Today” when discussing her donation.
Fans of the singer (and, really, who isn’t a fan?!), have been posting supportive, tongue-in-cheek notes about the singer’s involvement since the news broke.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has reported that vaccination could begin as early as December for health care workers and people in high-risk categories like the elderly.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.