Dolly Parton could be considered the greatest songwriter that America has ever produced. Match her career accomplishments with the gracious philanthropic arm of her country music empire, and you’ve got one hell of a life well-lived.

So, it’s worth noting that Dolly’s latest gift to mankind, her April donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for COVID-19 research, could pay off bigger than any hit song or amusement park, as The Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund has been credited as a source of funding for the mRNA Vaccine, which has been found to be 94.5% effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus in clinical trials thus far.

 

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A preliminary report on the mRNA Vaccine trials published to the New England Journal of Medicine by a number of contributing doctors and health/science professionals on November 12th cites the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund as one of its sources of funding. If this ends up being one of the vaccines wildly used to stop the spread of the virus and curb the effects of COVID-19 on older and vulnerable patients, Parton’s $1 million investment would surely top any past achievement in her illustrious career as a singer, songwriter, business owner, and storyteller.

“My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards that research of the coronavirus for a cure,” Parton said with her initial donation announcement back in April. According to reports, Parton met and befriended Abumrad after the singer was treated at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center following a car accident in 2014.

That same report goes on to state that the U.K. is expected to have five million doses of that same Moderna vaccine, which would be enough to vaccinate roughly 2.5 million people by next spring. It’s still unclear, however, how the struggling concert industry will be able to rebound and apply safe post-COVID guidelines with possible testing/vaccine strategies at venues or festivals when live music does return.

Perhaps, since Congress simply cannot seem to put party politics aside to find any common ground for the greater cause of a concert industry bail-out bill, Dolly Parton’s gracious donation announced back on April 1st could play a crucial role in the eventual return of live music.

Anyone else in favor of January 19th (Dolly Parton’s birthday) being named a national holiday?

[H/T The Guardian]