At Saturday’s star-studded Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World broadcast, Prince Harry called for empathy, trust and above all, vaccinations, in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
In their first appearances since the funeral of Prince Phillip and that bombshell Oprah interview, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle served as campaign chairs of the charity concert backed by Global Citizen. Markle, who was not in attendance due to her pregnancy, delivered a separate speech via video.
Featuring performances by Foo Fighters, Jennifer Lopez, J Balvin, H.E.R. and Eddie Vedder, the event was held on May 2 for 20,000 masked, fully vaccinated frontline workers at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. It was organized as a celebration of the upcoming return of the shared experiences we’ve all missed over the past year.
But, as the Duke of Sussex made very clear, “normal” can only return if we get vaccinated and help others in need do the same.
“This pandemic cannot end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity. The vaccine must be distributed to everyone everywhere… The virus does not respect borders and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography. It must be accepted as a basic right for all and that is our starting point.”
“None of us should be comfortable thinking that we could be fine when so many others are suffering,” Harry continued, “In reality, and especially with this pandemic, when any suffer, we all suffer. We must look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion for those we know, and those we don’t.”
Prince Harry concluded his message with words of solidarity with the people of India, who are currently battling a devastating second wave of the virus.
In addition to the performers and former royals, the event also featured appearances by President Joe Biden along with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Nomzamo Mbatha, Olivia Munn and Sean Penn.
Vax Live raised $53.8 million for Covax, which is working to ensure vaccines are distributed fairly among all nations, rich and poor. Organizers say the amount raised is enough to help purchase almost 10.3 million vaccine doses.