Lady Gaga asks von der Leyen to fund coronavirus vaccine research

, by Juuso Järviniemi

Lady Gaga asks von der Leyen to fund coronavirus vaccine research
Lady Gaga is not afraid to express political opinions during her performances. Photo credit: Steve Baker

As a doctor, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen understands that the coronavirus knows no borders – and that is why we need her leadership. These are the words of pop star Lady Gaga.

Yesterday evening, the American singer and actress launched a Twitter appeal to fund the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, aiming to find a coronavirus vaccine. She is also calling for money to the United Nations and to Gavi, an organisation which distributes vaccines to developing countries. Besides von der Leyen, Lady Gaga targeted her requests at the French President Emmanuel Macron and the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The appeal is a part of a campaign by Global Citizen, a New York-based organisation that aims to end extreme poverty by 2030. On Saturday this week, the organisation and Lady Gaga are hosting an online broadcast called “One World: Together At Home”, featuring artists such as Billie Eilish, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Andrea Bocelli and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong.

In her tweet to von der Leyen, Lady Gaga thanked the European Commission for the support it has already given to the United Nations’ coronavirus response and to individual regions. On 8 April, the Commission announced €15.6 billion’s worth of support to the EU’s partners. The package includes funds for countries in the Western Balkans, Africa and elsewhere, as well as “immediate support” for the World Health Organisation’s and the UN’s response plans.

This is not the first time Lady Gaga has gone political. Her performance at the 2017 Super Bowl seemed to make a jibe at US President Donald Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence who was in the audience. During the half-time show, she performed her hit “Born This Way”, singing “No matter gay, straight or bi / Lesbian transgender life / I’m on the right track baby / I was born to survive”. The message hardly went down well with Mike Pence, who has often been accused of supporting controversial gay conversion therapies. Ahead of the US presidential election this autumn, Lady Gaga has already made clear that she won’t be voting for Donald Trump.

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