As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, taking thousands of lives and having devastating effects on healthcare systems and the economy, a few awesome celebrities have stepped up to do what they can to help. Rihanna and her organization donated $5 million towards Coronavirus relief, focusing on sending aid to indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups. Rihanna herself even helped to provide many ventilators to her home of Barbados. P!nk has also made an impact. After coming down with the virus herself, and battling with it alongside her 3-year-old son, P!nk donated $500,000 to LA COVID-19 relief and the hospital her mom once worked at as a nurse in Pennsylvania, respectively. Needless to say, some of our favorite feminist celebs came to the resuce in the midst of this pandemic.
While raising awareness about the impact of COVID-19 and the need to social distance is great as well, many were skeptical when a group of celebrities, who did not seem to publicly announce that they were donating any funds towards Coronavirus relief, posted a video of themselves singing “Imagine” by John Lennon from the comfort of their million dollar homes. It would not be fair to judge these celebrities on this alone. We don’t know what they do behind closed doors. Perhaps they have done a lot for COVID-19 relief efforts, and simply did not advertise this. And sure, recording a weird rendition of this iconic song may have brought them some peace and comfort during this time, so who are we to judge? But on Jimmy Fallon last week, international pop-star Lady Gaga made several points on how toxic this “we’re all in this together” mentality can be, and also announced what she is doing to help in the fight against Coronavirus.
“While I think the sentiment is nice,” Gaga stated in an interview on The Tonight Show “I also think that the fight that I’m in — or that you’re in, right? — is very different from the fight of a woman that is in, perhaps, an abusive relationship and has a child and lost her job and can’t feed her kid and can’t feed herself and also can’t get the help that she needs because she’s in a violent situation.” Many celebs have gone on to label COVID-19 “the great equalizer,” but that just isn’t the case. In the United States, low-income individuals and members of marginalized communities are getting and dying of the novel coronavirus at a far higher rate than the wealthy. On top of this, these are the same people who are often essential workers or cannot afford to work from home and social distance. To add to how tone-def some celebrities have been when it comes to talking about how we can all help fight coronavirus, many people do not have the money to donate to various relief organizations as they are currently struggling to feed their families and themselves. "I wanna honor that fight that that women is in," Gaga noted. "And I want to help her fight that fight."
celebrities said imagine all the people, lady gaga said i think tf not pic.twitter.com/4T7DupN8Ef— ᴍᴇᴀɴ (@discodiick) April 7, 2020
By addressing this on live television, Gaga spread a message that folks on Twitter have been trying to relay ever since that “Imagine” video came out. As Gaga noted this crucial point, she also spoke about what she has been doing to help. Within the span of seven days, Lady Gaga raised $35 million from corporations and philanthropists to go towards The World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Most of the money will go towards supplying PPE to medical workers, testing kits and improving lab capacity for testing. “My heart is very, very, achy and warm for those who are ER doctors and nurses who are sleeping in cars to make sure they don't infect their families or their patients," Gaga stated. "What you're doing is putting yourselves in harm's way to help the world, and we all salute you and you are a triumph, truly.”
On top of raising $35 million, the pop-singer and actress has teamed up with Global Citizen to create a virtual music festival titled “One World Together At Home.” The event is not a fundraiser and does not intend to crowd-source from the folks watching at home. "We celebrate and we highlight the singular, kind global community that is arising right now," she revealed. "We want to highlight the gravity of this historical, unprecedented, cultural movement. And, we want to celebrate and encourage the power of the human."
The event will feature big-name artists such as Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and will stream live on April 18th on various different networks and online. In the video with the WHO, Gaga also noted that thhe festival is intended to share the stories of and celebrate those fighting on the front lines. “Put your wallet away, put anything away that you need to, and sit back and enjoy the show that you all very much deserve."
Image via The Late Show With Steven Colbert on YouTube
Aliza is a Creative Writing BFA student and former BUST Magazine intern! When she's not writing, reading or scrolling through TikTok for hours on end, you can find her consuming copious amounts of iced coffee or doing something witchy. Follow her on Twitter @alizapelto.