Elton John admittedly hasn’t lived through anything quite like the coronavirus pandemic, which is impacting people worldwide while so much about it remains unknown. But the singer-songwriter and activist is taking what he’s learned from his work with AIDS to determine how he’s contributing to this current fight.
“I can’t ever remember anything like this, and I’m 73. This is a really strange time to be living in,” John said during his appearance on Miley Cyrus’ Instagram live show on Friday. “My concern with this coronavirus thing is that the people who need their AIDs medicine are getting the treatment that they need.”
Supporting HIV prevention and those living with HIV/AIDS is something that John has been passionate about since creating the Elton John AIDS Foundation back in 1992. Now, he explains to Cyrus that his work with the foundation remains his focus as he watches healthcare systems worldwide get “stretched beyond belief.”
“As a result of coronavirus, people with another infectious disease are gonna suffer too. So you gotta double whammy going on. So I’ve gotta stick to my guns with the AIDS foundation and make sure that because of this global pandemic that’s happening, that the people who are suffering from another global pandemic don’t get forgotten,” he explained.
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“They might get pushed back to the back of the queue because of the people who need treatment urgently because of coronavirus.”
John announced that the foundation will be putting $1 million, around £815,000, toward ensuring that AIDS patients receive proper medication and treatment over the next few months. And while he notes that it’s an important way to show support for those living with AIDS, it’s equally important as a means of relieving healthcare workers.
“We are well-off people. We have no idea, and we see images and we see postings for people who are working on the frontline, but we really don’t have any idea what these people are going through. They’re going through hell and they’re going through hell because they’re working 24/7 and they see people dying in front of their faces,” he said. “I’m at a loss to describe how these people must be doing. I just can’t believe that they’re so heroic. Well, they are heroic.”