SEATTLE, Washington — Many celebrities are putting their influence to good use amid the COVID-19 pandemic, encouraging fans to act responsibly and protect both themselves and others from the virus. In this regard, there is perhaps no better example than the work of Indian-American actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas. Not only is Chopra working with health experts to dispel myths about COVID-19 but the actress is also doing vital activism work of her own. Her The Possible Dream campaign is poised to take the fight against global poverty right to the top. Here is everything to know.
WHO Experts and COVID-19 Myths
With COVID-19 being the topic of discussion on nearly every medium, it is only natural for there to be confusion about what is and is not true. Thus, to help dispel the myths that have sprouted up around the virus, on March 19, 2020, Chopra sat down on Instagram Live with World Health Organization (WHO) experts Dr. Tedros and Maria Van Kerkhove. The conversation lasted nearly an hour and reached an audience of 45,000 people.
Topics included common questions surrounding COVID-19, such as whether the virus is airborne, whether a vaccine was in development and what governments could do to flatten the curve. Her husband, singer Nick Jonas, also briefly joined the conversation to ask how someone with Type-1 Diabetes like himself could better protect themselves from the virus.
Answering the questions, Dr. Tedros and Kerhove emphasized the importance of good sanitation practices and frequent handwashing. They also clarified to viewers that while COVID-19 is not airborne, it does spread through respiratory droplets. Hence, the need for facemasks and social distancing to avoid transmission of the virus. As for the vaccine, the pair indicated that one is indeed under development. However, it will likely be 12-18 months before it is ready.
The Possible Dream Campaign and Ending Global Poverty
Aside from interviewing some of the world’s foremost health experts, Chopra has also used her fame to address the importance of eradicating global poverty. Earlier this year, the actress attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. There, together with Global Citizen and Teneo, she launched The Possible Dream campaign. Its goal: to compel the world’s billionaires to support the fight to end global poverty.
Internationally, there are nearly 2,200 billionaires with a combined net worth of more than $10 trillion. That is enough wealth to roughly double the size of the world’s third-largest economy. Chopra believes that if these billionaires were to donate just 4 to 5% of their annual incomes, the U.N. would easily meet its sustainable development goals for 2030. Thus, the Possible Dream campaign calls on billionaires to address inequality between the world’s wealthiest and poorest countries.
However, the Possible Dream campaign is not just about urging those with incredible funds to donate. Rather, Chopra also understands the importance of keeping the conversation surrounding global poverty alive. The actress stated, “When I started my work in the entertainment business almost 20 years ago, I understood the power of influence… I understood the power of not letting it die down, to [make others]understand the urgency.”
Indeed, understanding this urgency is not just important for billionaires but for everyone. Roughly 8.6% of the world, or 736 million people, live in extreme poverty. While not everyone can afford to donate, everyone can afford to share their voice.
– Stacey Krzych