Dolly Parton is an angel. But we knew this already. What we didn't explicitly know, however, is that in her angelic way, she is part of the reason we are so close to getting a vaccine for COVID-19.
Before you jump to conclusions, no, the singer-songwriter legend has not built a lab in her Tennessee backyard and somehow gotten a PhD in epidemiology (although what a treat she would be to patients). What she has done, is donated $1 Million to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center for COVID-19 research. Her choice to do so was apparently in honour of her longtime friend, professor of surgery Naji Abumrad, MD, after hearing that "they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure." Parton met Dr Abumrad in 2014 when she was treated at Vanderbilt Medical after having a car accident.
So far, the donation has gone relatively far, supporting a convalescent plasma study, in which infected people are treated with the plasma of those who have COVID-19 antibodies, and additionally supporting the development of the Moderna Vaccine, which has recently proved to be almost 95% effective against COVID-19. “Dolly’s amazing generosity is a source of inspiration and will have a lasting impact on the battle against COVID-19," said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "She cares so much about helping others and we are very grateful for her ongoing support. These funds will help us complete promising research that can benefit millions in their battle with the virus.”
“What better time right now, we need this," she said. "I felt like this was the time for me to open my heart and my hand, and try to help.” Parton noted on NBC's Today Show regarding her donation.
As a final act of community service to ring in the new year ahead, Parton is treating us all to a cover story with Playboy Magazine for their January issue, for both the publication and Parton's 75th birthdays (!!). Her last cover was in October 1978 when she was 32, which she claims her boobs "remain the same" to this day. Dolly, you have our hearts forever. Is there anything left for this angel to give? We think not.