Concert to End COVID
The Global Citizen fundraising concert, called “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World” took place on May 2nd. Hosted by Selena Gomez and with special appearances from Prince Harry, Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen, Ben Affleck, Nomzamo Mbatha, President and First Lady Biden, Olivia Munn, and Sean Penn, this was a star-studded event. All proceeds went to the ACT-Accelerator, whose mission is to provide for “equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests, treatments and other medical tools to the world’s most marginalized communities and healthcare workers on the frontlines.”
The concert had major donors, including Mastercard, which pledged $25 million. Cisco and Proctor & Gamble each pledged $5 million. Coca-Cola donated $500,000. Countries also got involved. Canada gave $300 million to fund vaccines, tests, and treatments. Spain, the UAE, and New Zealand all offered its surplus doses.
Hugh Evans, the CEO of Global Citizen, expressed his deepest gratitude, “We have been overwhelmed by the support for ‘Vax Live,’ from governments, philanthropists, the private sector, our campaign chairs, and Global Citizens from across the world, who have joined forces to mobilize critical COVID-19 vaccines where they are needed urgently.” Evans also put pressure on other major world powers. He continued, “More needs to be done especially from G7 nations that have yet to commit to sharing any doses. The UK alone will have 113 million surplus doses. We need to continue our efforts to urge the chair of the G7, Boris Johnson, the rest of the G7 and G20 nations, and vaccine manufacturers to share additional doses urgently to help ensure equitable vaccine access globally.”
The concert itself, held at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, was attended by several thousand fully-vaccinated fans. It was possibly the biggest concerts in the country since the pandemic began. The in-person concert, as well as the quantity of donations, gives us hope for a return to normalcy.