Says Peter King of NBC Sports:
Jeff Lurie’s $1-million gift to Penn Medicine established the Covid-19 Immunology Defense Fund. It’s a fascinating pursuit. Lurie wants to radically expand testing of front-line health workers for immunity to coronavirus—I didn’t know that some people are naturally immune—so that those medical professionals could work without fear of getting the disease. Lurie’s gift also will contribute to more rapid testing for the disease and for the antibodies that fight it, and to find drugs that work against the virus as well as vaccine research. Lurie told me Saturday he started taking the disease seriously when he first heard about it.
“People here don’t realize it, but Wuhan is one of the biggest cities in the world,” he said. “It’s the size of New York. Once I heard it was infecting so many there, my alarms went off. Then I started thinking, ‘What can we do?’ “
“We will not win this way till we do massive antibody testing,” Lurie said, and he hopes his gift not only gets others to contribute to finding the best ways to diagnose and solve the coronavirus mystery but to encourage people around the world to work together on it. “My overall macro worry is we’re living in a time of increasing nationalism. This is the time we need the best and the brightest all over the world, and we’re all contributing knowledge, and we have to be best at everything. We have to be the best at antibody testing, with very few false positives and false negatives, in high-level labs. We’ve got to be best at global cooperation.
“Now is the time we should work together. We can go on the offensive. This is the time to trust science and trust the humanity of people. Everyone do their small part and trust data, trust science.”
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