Madonna, De Niro among 200 public figures seeking 'radical transformation' of economies after Covid-19 crisis

Over 200 people are signatories to an open letter that is calling for humanity to “examine what is essential”

                            Madonna, De Niro among 200 public figures seeking 'radical transformation' of economies after Covid-19 crisis
(Getty Images)

More than 200 celebrities, scientists, and Nobel Prize winners have signed an open letter published on Wednesday, May 6, calling for radical change in the world rather than “a return to normal” after COVID-19 restrictions are removed.

The letter published in the French daily Le Monde saw famous names like Madonna and Robert De Niro pleading for an end to unrestricted consumerism and a “radical transformation” of economies to help save the planet post the coronavirus crisis.

The letter was also signed by Hollywood stars Cate Blanchett, Jane Fonda, Marion Cotillard, and Monica Bellucci as well as by Muhammad Yunus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance.

According to reports, the letter was written by actress Juliette Binoche and astrophysicist Aurélien Barrau and read: “We believe it is unthinkable to ‘go back to normal’”. As per their view, though the outbreak was a tragedy, it was also a chance for humanity to “examine what is essential”.

“Adjustments are not enough. The problem is systemic,” the letter said.

“The ongoing ecological catastrophe is a meta-crisis. Unlike a pandemic... a global ecological collapse will have immeasurable consequences,” it continued, adding that it was time for leaders “to leave behind the unsustainable logic that still prevails and to undertake a profound overhaul of our goals, values, and economies. The pursuit of consumerism and an obsession with productivity have led us to deny the value of life itself: that of plants, that of animals, and that of a great number of human beings.”

“Pollution, climate change, and the destruction of our remaining natural zones have brought the world to a breaking point. For these reasons, along with the urgency of renewing with a politics of social equity, we believe it is unthinkable to « go back to normal ». 

“The radical transformation we need – at all levels – demands boldness and courage. It will not take place without a massive and determined commitment. We must act now. It is as much a matter of survival as of dignity and coherence,” the short letter concluded.

This comes after pop icon Madonna confirmed she had coronavirus while she was on tour in Paris. She shared the news on Instagram, admitting that while she was on her Madame X world tour, she tested positive for antibodies.

“I am not currently sick. When you test positive for antibodies it means you HAD the virus which I clearly did as I was sick at the end of my tour in Paris over 7 weeks ago along with many other artists in my show at the time. We all thought we had a very bad flu. Thank God we are all healthy and well now,” the 61-year-old said.

In the same post, The ‘La Isla Bonita’ singer also revealed that she has donated US$1 million towards the development of a vaccine. She shared the screenshot of a news report on the social media site that said she hads contributed. “I’m grateful that I can be a part of supporting Research to Find the cure for COVID -19!! 🙏🏼” she captioned the screenshot.

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