Dolly Parton just might save us all.
That was the refrain on Twitter on Tuesday, after it was revealed that the country music queen made a $1 million donation toward COVID-19 research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in her Nashville hometown in April. And this, in turn, helped the development of Moderna’s /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA +1.67% vaccine candidate, which the company says has demonstrated 94.5% efficacy — although it should be noted that the findings have not been published as a preprint or in a peer-reviewed medical journal just yet.
Still, spirits (and stocks) rose on the Moderna news Monday — and many people expressed surprise and delight on Twitter once they learned that the “Jolene” and “9 to 5” singer had a hand in funding the research and development the vaccine. This led “Dolly Parton” to trend on Twitter /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR +0.74% on Tuesday, spurring more than 57,000 tweets. Many passed around a screenshot of the New England Medical Journal acknowledging the contribution by the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund in the official preliminary report on the Moderna vaccine .
Others joked that Parton has effectively “cured coronavirus.”
“I want everyone to know that Dolly Parton gave us Buffy the tv series, the song 9 to 5, Dollywood, and of course the Covid vaccine,” one fan tweeted .
Parton herself expressed surprise at the sudden attention while appearing on the “Today” show Tuesday morning to discuss her new Christmas album (her first in 30 years) and her latest book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics.” She’s also got a holiday Netflix /zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite NFLX +2.19% film coming out on Nov. 20. “I’ve got to be busy to be creative,” she said on “Today.”
“I’m just happy that anything I do can help somebody else,” Parton continued. “And when I donated the money to the COVID fund, I just wanted it to do good, and evidently it is. And let’s just hope we find a cure real soon.“
Watch her here:
Indeed, Parton is quite the philanthropist, and has paid special care to Sevier County, the poor Tennessee community where she grew up with 11 brothers and sisters. She started the Imagination Library , which began as a program to send a free book every month to kids under 5 in Sevier County. It has expanded to deliver books to 1.45 million children across the country each month .