Thursday, June 24, 2021

Libre: Vax live

Free Verse

“Vax” is the word. Vaccine equity is key to overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic.

The world’s best scientists and researchers were able to produce in record time vaccines to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Drug manufacturers are doing their utmost best to meet the challenge of producing these to meet the demands of all countries, as governments roll out in earnest the vaccines. But the economic imbalance is threatening peoples in poor, if not less developed countries.

Global Citizen has done it again. The institution, behind the star-studded “One World: Together at Home,” raised last year $127.9 million to buy personal protective equipment and other supplies for countries that needed them. In 2021, it produced “Vax Live – The Concert to Reunite the World” that aired on May 8 celebrating hope as families and communities reunite after receiving the vaccine and calling on world leaders to step up for equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Co-chaired by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the music event featured performers from different genres and countries and messages from world leaders including US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. During his two appearances on stage, Prince Harry called for compassion and empathy to all who have suffered in the pandemic while at the same time honoring the frontline workers. He said that the battle is not just against the coronavirus pandemic, but also a pandemic of misinformation.

Jennifer Lopez got the event going with a sing-along of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” Of the performers, the Foo Fighters, H.E.R. and Eddie Vedder rocked hard. Latino superstar J Balvin who survived Covid-19 had the most elaborate stage setup, while South Korean boyband NCT 127 breezed through with a kick-ass performance. The Irish band Picture This seemed like a stand-in for U2, while rapper Saweetie must have pulled some strings to get a spot. In totality, the show had substance, was outstanding and well edited.

The concert, which was pre-taped at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, was a full-house sans social distancing rule as the audience consisted of fully vaccinated frontline health care and essential workers. More importantly, the effort raised $302 million that should provide more than 26 million vaccine doses for those in need.

Global Citizen isn’t stopping. Come September 2021, “Global Citizen LIVE – Recovery Plan for the World” will be headlined by Cold Play, Usher, Billie Eilish and SuperM. Who would have thought that Global Citizen’s activism would become the norm?


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