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If you’re feeling a little more hopeful these days thanks to promising news about coronavirus vaccines, queue up a Dolly Parton playlist and give the famous country singer a little thanks. That’s right, the musician famous for Jolene, Coat of Many Colors, 9 to 5, and numerous other hits is actually helping the world heal. Parton, a Tennessee native, donated $1 million to Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The medical center then helped develop Moderna’s vaccine, which the company says is 94.5% effective against COVID-19 in preliminary findings.
Parton is even mentioned in the New England Journal of Medicine. In a report about the vaccine, the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund is listed as a supporter of Vanderbilt’s research.
In April, Parton tweeted, “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.” She followed up by writing, “I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”
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On Tuesday, as news of the singer’s involvement spread, Parton herself responded, in her typical modest way.
“When I donated the money to the Covid fund I just wanted it to do good and evidently, it is!” Parton wrote. “Let’s just hope we can find a cure real soon.”
And her fans responded with thanks and excitement. “Go Dolly!” wrote one Twitter user. “Ethical, responsible and a humanitarian through and through — such an inspiration! This positive energy is just what we need!”
Said another, “Dolly Parton is just an amazing woman. Gives books to underprivileged children, wrote some of the greatest songs ever and now helping to end a pandemic.” (Parton’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library gives free books to children around the world.)
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