Benjamin Franklin famously said that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. If the founding father who penned Poor Richard’s Almanack had lived in 2020, he’d probably have added a third: stanning Dolly Parton.
Dolly Parton is one of those rare types who can do it all: sing, act, write, escape poverty, support equality, inspire meme challenges, say no to Elvis (he wanted to cover “I Will Always Love You”), stay married for a half-century, help cure COVID-19.
Lots to unpack there, but probably the biggest surprise is that the “9 to 5” singer/songwriter helped cure COVID-19. While Parton didn’t spend the last six months peering into a microscope, she did donate $1 million to the development of the vaccine Moderna announced on Monday.
According to the Guardian, she stroked the check after her friend Dr. Naji Abumrad of Vanderbilt University told her they’d made “some exciting advancements” in their work to end the deadly pandemic that’s killed more than 1 million people worldwide. Vanderbilt was involved with Moderna’s work to develop the vaccine that reportedly has thus far shown nearly 95% efficacy.
For many, this was just the salve that this long and painful year needs. “Dolly Parton saving humanity is a welcome surprise to 2020,” tweeted one.
Many brought up the fact that Parton is a perennial do-gooder. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library donates 1.5 million books to children worldwide every month; a year ago it celebrated donating its 130 millionth book.
This also isn’t the first time Parton has given big bucks to medicine. In 2018, she donated $1 million to Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital as an homage to her niece, who’d survived childhood leukemia, turning 30.
The internet has a long love affair with the living icon. News that she’d potentially helped save millions of lives just made them stan even more.
Parton herself has yet to comment on her role in developing the vaccine.
The news has some suggesting that for her next act, she try politics.
“Why isn’t Dolly Parton president?” wondered one.
Indeed, why not?