Madonna took to Instagram to announce her partnership with Bill Gates, donating $1 million to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations’ Therapeutics Accelerator program, which is looking to find a drug to cure or treat COVID-19.
The singer, who recently canceled her final Madame X shows due to the pandemic, began by sharing her own experience with the crisis. “I must admit, it took me time to accept and process and modify my own lifestyle so I can protect the lives of my family, myself and the rest of the human race,” she said. “I cannot express enough the importance of people taking this virus seriously.”
“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,” she wrote on her website. “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.”
Madonna’s contribution will go toward the COVID-19 Response Fund operated by Gates Philanthropy Partners.
Other partners in the initiative include Wellcome, Mastercard, U.K. Government and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “I have enormous respect for Bill Gates and the work he has done all his life,” Madonna added on Instagram. “He warned us of a global pandemic in 2015, and I wish to God we had listened.”
Madonna also took the time to thank the healthcare workers consistently risking their lives during the crisis and exposing themselves to the virus. “I have enormous gratitude for you,” she said.
She concluded her statement with advice: “I know many of you have heard this one trillion billion times,” she prefaced. “But I’m going to say it again: stay safe. Stay home. Don’t panic. Fear will get us nowhere. I have faith in the human race that we are gonna pull through.”
Gates went on The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah on Thursday to speak about his 2015 Ted Talk, which predicted the pandemic. “One thing I feel good about is — this is such a big change to the world — that this time it won’t be like Ebola, which was just there in West Africa or Central Africa,” he said. “This time, the tens of billions [of dollars] to have the diagnostics standing by, the manufacturing standing by, this time we will get ready for the next epidemic.”