INGLEWOOD, Calif. | President Joe Biden spoke about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccination, Prince Harry urged for the vaccine to be distributed everywhere and Jennifer Lopez kissed her fully vaccinated mother on stage at one of the biggest concerts in Southern California since the pandemic rocked the world more than a year ago.
Celebrities and political leaders gathered on Sunday evening to talk about the importance of equity in vaccines at Global Citizen’s “Vax Live: The Concert To Bring The World Together” at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The taped fundraising event will air May 8 on ABC radio stations, ABC News Live, CBS, YouTube and iHeartMedia.
The concert included performances by Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and HER
Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, Jimmy Kimmel, Sean Penn and David Letterman appeared as special guests.
Everyone in the audience was fully immunized. Media and production staff were required to present a negative COVID test before entering the stadium.
“Vaccines are safe. I promise you. They work, ”said Biden, who was accompanied in a video message with First Lady Jill Biden. Both appeared as part of the “We Can Do This” initiative to increase confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.
“We are working with leaders around the world to share more vaccines and increase production to make sure every country has the vaccines they need,” the president continued. “If we get there, we won’t have to miss another moment.”
The event was part of a growing chorus seeking wider and more equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Global Citizen said $ 53.8 million in philanthropic and corporate commitments bought nearly 10.3 million doses, exceeding the Vax Live campaign target.
Prince Harry said it was imperative to provide vaccines across the world, especially those from the poorest countries. He said he stood in solidarity with India, which is experiencing a “devastating” second wave of the virus.
“The vaccine needs to be distributed to everyone everywhere,” the Duke of Sussex said. Together with his wife Meghan, he is leading an effort to raise funds for the COVAX vaccine sharing program, which hopes to produce $ 19 billion to pay for vaccines for medical workers.
“We cannot rest or truly recover until there is an equitable distribution to all corners of the world,” he said. “The virus does not respect borders and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography.”
The event also highlighted the efforts of first responders and healthcare workers during the pandemic. Selena Gomez, the show’s host, called essential and frontline workers “reliable” and “courageous.”
“A lot of us had to stay at home, but not all of you had a choice,” the singer said. “You are setting an example for all of us, both in the way you stay at work and in the fact that we need to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Each musical performance made things seem almost normal with the participants standing side by side while others danced with their masks on. Some hugged enthusiastically.
ELLE performed on a small stage outside the stadium with a group of people playing their guitars.
Before Lopez’s performance, she told audiences that she was unable to spend Christmas with her mother. The singer then invited her fully vaccinated mother on stage, and the two sang their interpretation of “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.
“When I thought about what song to sing tonight, I remembered the song she sang to me when I was a baby,” said Lopez, who later performed her 2016 hit single “Ain’t Your Mama ”.
Eddie Vedder said the concert was the first “taste of life we all missed” in over a year.
“It’s a feeling we haven’t had for quite some time,” he said. “There is a microphone, a crowd. It feels good.”
The Foo Fighters performed with AC / DC frontman Brian Johnson during a performance of the rock anthem “Back In Black”.
“We’re not out of the woods yet. But let me tell you, I firmly believe that music should be shared with people, ”said Dave Grohl, frontman of Foo Fighters. “Let’s work as hard as possible to make sure we can do this every night.”
Hugh Evans, founder and CEO of Global Citizen, said he wanted to keep the momentum going.
“What we are trying to emphasize is that it is obvious that we should be striving for fairness,” he said. “It’s something that shouldn’t require any arithmetic. It is absolutely obvious.