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Dolly Parton donates $1 million to coronavirus research after learning about 'exciting advancements'

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Dolly Parton announced that she’s donating $1 million to help find a “cure” for the coronavirus and is encouraging her fans to donate if they can as well.

The 74-year-old took to Instagram on Wednesday to share a note in which she revealed that she’s been talking with a friend who is involved with research at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. She explained that she was inspired to donate after hearing positive things from him as the world continues to hope for an end to the ongoing pandemic.

“My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards that research of the coronavirus for a cure,” she wrote. “I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt towards that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations.”

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The star concluded her note by asking her followers to “Keep the faith.”

According to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center website, Dr. Abumrad is a professor of surgery there. He has authored more than 250 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has written several book chapters. Some of his published topics include metabolic activity and hypoglycemia; the repair of metabolic processes; the effects of metabolic responses during insulin deficiency; the hormonal and metabolic effects of neuroglucopenia, and the effects of fasting on metabolism.

Unfortunately, Parton did not reveal exactly what she was told was happening at Vanderbilt that got her so excited about developing a potential cure for COVID-19.

Dr. Abumrad did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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Parton’s line about keeping the faith echoes something she said earlier this week in a video message to fans, urging them not to be too scared as the virus continues to spread across the world, calling it a lesson from God.

"I think he's trying to hold us up to the light so we can see ourselves and see each other through the eyes of love, and I hope we learn that lesson. I think that when this passes we're all gonna be better people,” she said.

Dolly Parton revealed she donated $1 million to coronavirus research after being encouraged by a doctor friend about the work being done at his university. 

Dolly Parton revealed she donated $1 million to coronavirus research after being encouraged by a doctor friend about the work being done at his university.  (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

“So just keep the faith, don't be too scared," Parton concluded. "It's going to be alright. God loves us."

As of Wednesday morning, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 874,081 people across 180 countries and territories, resulting in over 43,291 deaths. In the U.S., all 50 states plus the District of Columbia have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, tallying over 189,633 illnesses and at least 4,080 deaths.

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Currently there is no cure or vaccine for the coronavirus, but scientists around the world are currently working on several different potential vaccines to end the pandemic as quickly as possible.