Madonna donates 100,00 surgical masks to prisons – Reuters/Bang Showbiz
The 61-year-old singer’s Ray of Light Foundation has teamed up with REFORM Alliance to provide the medical supplies in the hope it can slow the spread of coronavirus between those behind bars.
REFORM Alliance tweeted: “We teamed up with @Madonna @PairOfThieves @bailproject and @cut_50 to secure 100k MORE MASKS FOR PEOPLE BEHIND BARS.
“We need to stop #COVID19 from spreading inside of prisons if we want to stop it from spreading outside of prison walls, too #NoPrisonPandemic.”
Madonna has also addressed the importance of the initiative.
Alongside a news story about the donation, she wrote on Instagram: “Protect Inmates and Prison Staff as well. Lives are at stake. #covid19 #staysafe (sic)”
The donation will include 50,000 masks to the Cook County Jail and the Illinois Department of Corrections, 20,000 to the Louisiana Department of Corrections, and the remaining 30,000 split between Vacaville Prison in California, FCI Ray Brook in New York, and Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department in Massachusetts.
Michael Rubin, the co-chair of REFORM – who already provided another 100,000 to different correctional facilities – said in a statement: “More than 2 million lives in prisons across America are currently at stake due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s absolutely crucial that we protect our inmates and prison staff, especially since social distancing guidelines are difficult to abide by in these facilities. REFORM remains committed to protecting one of our nation’s most vulnerable populations, many of whom are currently incarcerated for technical probation violations (not committing a crime). We’re grateful for the support of our partners in this endeavor.”
Madonna’s help to inmates comes after she previously donated $1 million to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help with their efforts to find a vaccine against the virus.
In a statement released on her website, she said: “I’m joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation effort to find a drug that will prevent or treat COVID-19. We need this to protect our health workers, the most vulnerable, and all of our friends and families.
“I’m talking about this: I am so impressed by the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator’s urgent efforts to find new or existing drugs that could effectively prevent or treat the disease.
“Harnessing the strength and knowledge of the research community, the Accelerator’s critical scientific progress will inform how we end this pandemic and prevent future impact from the virus. I send enormous gratitude and strength to the courageous first responders, medical professionals, and scientists who are protecting our communities, those suffering, and our most vulnerable.”