Elton John donates $1 million to protect people with HIV from coronavirus: 'Will not leave anyone behind'
'For almost 30 years my foundation has prioritized the most vulnerable people to HIV to end the AIDS epidemic,' he said
To do his bit to help those who are the most vulnerable amid the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, music legend Elton John has initiated a $1 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund for those affected by HIV.
The announcement of the nonprofit was made by the 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart' singer on his Twitter page on Saturday, April 4.
“I am so pleased to announce that my foundation is launching a new COVID-19 emergency fund today,” the 73-year-old said in a video while sharing the news with his fans. “For almost 30 years, my foundation has prioritized the most vulnerable people to HIV to end the AIDS epidemic and we’re committed to this during the COVID-19 crisis too.”
“Our new COVID-19 emergency fund will help frontline partners to prepare for and respond to the pandemic and its effects on HIV prevention and care for the most marginalized communities,” the father-of-two explained. "We must keep up momentum or else the results could be disastrous for people living with HIV and other infectious diseases. We’re with you, we’re thinking of you, we will not leave anyone behind.”
In a separate tweet after posting the video, John reiterated: "Now and always, I’m committed to not leave anyone affected by HIV behind. Visit http://www.ejaf.org/covid19 for more info. Sending love to all of our Foundation’s partners, grantees, supporters, frontline workers and members of our community during this time. Elton x"
After the iHeartRadio Music Awards was postponed due to the ongoing pandemic, John helped to raise millions last weekend while hosting the virtual iHeart Living Room Concert for America which featured performances from major musicians like Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Dave Grohl, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Tim McGraw, Billie Joe Armstrong, Demi Lovato, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes.
Celebrities like comedian and daytime TV host Ellen DeGeneres and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson also sang as the first responders and stressed upon the importance of the evening’s beneficiaries. The hour-long benefit was televised on Fox and live-streamed online. The concert ended up attracting almost 9 million TV viewers and raising about $8 million for coronavirus relief.
The fundraising endeavor received a big boost when Procter & Gamble contributed $500,000 to the cause and was matched by Fox. The money was to be handed over to charitable organizations like Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.
“I can’t tell you how important it is for you to take this pandemic seriously. Not long ago, there was another infectious disease that was ignored. Day in and day out, the disease got worse because we did nothing. Too many forgot about compassion and decency, so millions and millions of people perished from AIDS," John said addressing the audience during the show, according to Forbes.
“But this time we aren’t going to let that happen. So stay home for the ones you love,” he continued. “We hope this bit of entertainment can feed and fuel your soul. And maybe bring you some strength.”