dolly parton

#1 Best Human Dolly Parton Is Partly To Thank for the 94.5% Effective Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

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Two companies—Pfizer and Moderna—appear to be edging closer to producing viable COVID-19 vaccines. In medical trials, the vaccines have shown to be about 90 and 95% effective, respectively, something Dr. Anthony Fauci has called “truly striking.” We desperately need an effective coronavirus vaccine but there’s also a lot of mistrust around the idea of one. Many people trust Dr. Fauci but few trust Trump, who has politicized the virus from day one and offered conflicting information based on what he seems to think will make him look best at any given moment.

But if there’s one person in the world who could put their name (and their money) behind a vaccine and get people to trust it wholeheartedly, I’d say that person is Dolly Parton.

Earlier this year, the legendary singer/songwriter/actress/living angel pledged to donate $1 million to COVID-19 research. The Guardian writes:

In April, Parton donated £800,000 to research after her friend Dr Naji Abumrad of the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee told her that they were making “some exciting advancements” in the search for a cure for the virus. Abumrad and Parton became friends in 2014 after the singer was involved in a car accident and treated at Vanderbilt.

If we have to live in a world where COVID-19 exists, at least we also get to live in one where the “Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund” does too.

This is far from Parton’s first foray into philanthropy. She founded the Imagination Library, a book gifting program that works to foster a love for reading by mailing free, “specially selected” books to kids every month from birth until they enter school. To date, they’ve mailed nearly 150 million books to more than 1.7 million children.

The Dollywood Foundation also offers scholarships to “students who have a dream they wish to pursue” and funding to people who lost their homes in the Great Smokey Mountain wildfires in 2016. She’s raised money for wildlife preservation, for the Red Cross, for a cancer center and hospital, and for HIV/AIDS-related charities. She recently spoke out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, telling fellow white people to “don’t be a dumbass.”

I don’t think I could have predicted that Dolly Parton would be the person to save us but really, that’s on me. Of course she would! It would be silly to think otherwise and I was naive not to foresee this.

(via The Guardian, image: Netflix)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.