The World Health Organization (WHO) and Global Citizen, a prominent advocacy group, have announced ‘One World: Together At Home’, a concert designed to celebrate medical workers around the world who are fighting the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The live global special event will include virtual performances and appearances by Lady Gaga, Elton John, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Chris Martin, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, David Beckham, Idris Elba, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Shah Rukh Khan. The broadcast will be hosted by top US late-night television hosts — Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert — with friends from Sesame Street on hand to unify and inspire people to support the global COVID-19 response.
The concert will be broadcast on Saturday, April 18 at 8 p.m. New York Time on ABC, NBC, CBS and other international broadcasters.
“The World Health Organization is committed to defeating the coronavirus pandemic with science and public health measures, and supporting the health workers who are on the frontlines of the response”, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, making Monday’s announcement of the event in Geneva.
Funding pledges from philanthropists and corporate partners will go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO to equip frontline health care workers with masks, gowns and other vital equipment – as well as to local charities providing food, shelter and healthcare to those most in need.
Lady Gaga, the Oscar-winning singer and actress, who appeared in the WHO’s media briefing on Monday, revealed that she’s helped raise $35 million from several global companies in the last week to benefit the organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
“We are all so very grateful to all of the health-care professionals across the country, around the world, who are on the frontlines of COVID-19,” Lady Gaga, who will curate the mega event, said. “This global pandemic is a catastrophe. I am so thankful to them and I am praying for those who are sick”, she said.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed that the entire UN system is fully mobilized, supporting country responses, placing supply chains at the world’s disposal and advocating for a global ceasefire.
“We are proud to join forces with ‘One World: Together At Home’ to help suppress the transmission of the virus, minimize social-economic impacts on the global community and work together now to advance Global Goals for the future”, the UN chief said. “We are in this together and we will get through this together.”
Hugh Evans, Co-Founder and CEO of Global Citizen, said the broadcast aims to be a source of unity and encouragement. “Through music, entertainment and impact, the global live-cast will celebrate those who risk their own health to safeguard everyone else’s”, he said.
Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Tedros announced that WHO is issuing guidance and criteria to help countries decide whether to recommend the use of medical and non-medical masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“First and foremost, medical masks must be prioritized for health workers on the front lines of the response,” he said, expressing concern that the mass use of medical masks by the general population could exacerbate the global shortage for people who need them most. “In some places, these shortages are putting health workers in real danger.”
In healthcare facilities, WHO continues to recommend the use of medical masks, respirators and other personal protective equipment for health workers. In the community, it recommends the use of medical masks by people who are sick and those caring for a sick person at home.
He said countries could consider using masks in communities where other measures – such as cleaning hands and physical distancing – are more difficult to achieve because of lack of water or cramped living conditions. Masks, if worn, must be used safely and WHO has guidance on how to put on, take off and dispose of masks.
What is clear is that there is limited research in this area. He encouraged countries considering the use of masks for the general population to study their effectiveness. “Mask or no mask, there are proven things all of us can do to protect ourselves and others – keep your distance, clean your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, and avoid touching your face.”
The concert will also be a multi-hour digital broadcast streaming online on multiple global platforms, including Alibaba, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, LiveXLive, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo and YouTube.