Singer-songwriter James Taylor and his wife, Kim Taylor, have donated $1 million to bolster Massachusetts General Hospital’s response to the novel coronavirus that has caused a worldwide pandemic, the hospital said Tuesday.
Mass. General treated the first person in the state to die from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, and is currently treating 29 other patients who tested positive, according to hospital officials. So far, nine hospital employees have contracted the virus and nearly 500 have been furloughed because of potential exposure.
The Taylors’ donation will go into the hospital’s President’s Emergency Response Fund, established after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and will be used “where the need is greatest, whether purchasing supplies and equipment, repurposing space, or furthering research seeking treatments and means of prevention for COVID-19,” officials said in a statement.
Taylor, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee behind hits such as “Fire and Rain,” “Carolina in My Mind,” and “Sweet Baby James,” was born at Mass. General, where his physician father had served his residency in internal medicine, according to the hospital.
“There is no question that it’s a point of pride for New Englanders to claim the MGH as their hospital — our hospital — and this is especially true today with the threat coming from a new and insidious virus,” Taylor said in the statement. “Kim and I want to be part of this fight. We have been so inspired by the courage and sacrifice of the health care heroes in the trenches who are working so hard to protect us all.”
Kim Taylor, who has served on the board of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children for five years, referred to the COVID-19 pandemic as an “unprecedented time of deep concern” and praised the hospital for its work.
“The MGH is a place that is looked to for leadership — clinical, scientific, and ethical — in humanity’s fight against the danger that is around us,” she said in the statement. “We are proud to support a medical center that is leading the way on so many fronts.”
The hospital’s president, Dr. Peter L. Slavin, thanked the couple for their generous donation.
The gift will help the hospital respond to the outbreak and "will also provide a meaningful morale boost to our caregivers, the many staff who support them, and the scientists who are working to defeat this scourge,” he said in the statement,
He added that the donation “sends a heartening message to our staff that their efforts are appreciated, and they are not in this fight alone.”