On Monday, new reports of a very promising new COVID-19 vaccine were published from pharmaceutical giant Moderna. At this point, virtually any sign that things are looking up on the pandemic front is a cause for celebration, but this particular good news comes with one of the all-time great American soundtracks: Dolly Parton was one of its primary funders.
Yes, as we’ve discussed before, Dolly got into the vaccine development game as another one of her many charitable causes at the urging of her longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, a Nashville doctor who told her about mRNA — the new vaccine technology behind the stunning developments at Moderna and Pfizer. Dolly Parton is never one to let a good cause pass her by, so she donated a million dollars to the research back in April and now, the Dolly Parton Research Fund is one of the primary funders behind one of the most promising advancements in getting COVID beat.
Yes, Dolly Parton part-funded research which went towards the Moderna vaccine which has reported 94.5% effectiveness. pic.twitter.com/tdyFWRnvsz
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) November 17, 2020
It’s another feather in the cap for Parton, who has donated vast sums of money to families displaced by the Tennessee wildfires and gave away over 100 million books to children in need, among lots of other causes — many of which we’ll probably never even hear about.
In addition to a potential COVID vaccine, millions of dollars in charitable giving and “Jolene,” Dolly Parton was also an uncredited executive producer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so add that to the list of ways she’s made the world a better place. In fact, when she found out Buffy‘s producer Gail Berman was getting less in royalties than her male colleagues, Parton wrote her a check on the spot. That’s Dolly, folks. In honor of her generosity, let’s all sing the National Anthem together. No, not that National Anthem. The real one. And-a-one, and-a-two…
Tyler Huckabee is RELEVANT's senior editor. He lives in Nashville with his wife, dog and Twitter account.