Madonna has donated $1 million to the Gates Philanthropy Partners’ COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a rep for the organization confirmed to Variety.
“Her contribution is alongside the commitments by the Gates Foundation, Wellcome, Mastercard, U.K. Government and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – all partners in the initiative,” the rep said, clarifying that “The money will go through the COVID-19 Response Fund operated by Gates Philanthropy Partners, so not directly to the Gates Foundation.”
In a statement on her website, Madonna — seen above accepting Advocate for Change honor at last year’s GLAAD Awards — wrote:
“I’m joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation effort to find a drug that will prevent or treat COVID-19. We need this to protect our health workers, the most vulnerable, and all of our friends and families.
“I’m talking about this: I am so impressed by the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator’s urgent efforts to find new or existing drugs that could effectively prevent or treat the disease. Harnessing the strength and knowledge of the research community, the Accelerator’s critical scientific progress will inform how we end this pandemic and prevent future impact from the virus. I send enormous gratitude and strength to the courageous first responders, medical professionals and scientists who are protecting our communities, those suffering and our most vulnerable.”
An excerpt from an update on the Accelerator’s progress posted on its website reads: “There are two trials starting pretty much simultaneously, using chloroquine and a drug with a slightly different structure, hydroxychloroquine. Now, you may have heard of the WHO SOLIDARITY Trial that was announced two weeks ago, which will look at chloroquine as a treatment for people who are sick, to see if it shortens the duration of their sickness. The two Accelerator studies are looking instead at prophylaxis — stopping people exposed to the virus from getting sick.
“From the existing data, which need validation in a trial, it looks like hydroxychloroquine could be a good agent for prophylaxis. It actually blocks the entry of the virus into the cell, so the hypothesis makes a lot of sense: if you have the drug in your system and you get exposed, you won’t let the virus get into your cells and you won’t get onset of disease. That is what the trials are aimed at showing.”