Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is donating $1 million to Penn Medicine for research to fight COVID-19. 

The donation from Lurie will establish the COVID-19 Immunology Defense Fund, giving money to experts for immunology research geared toward battling the coronavirus during this international pandemic. 

The fund was created with the goal to create a research program to test front-line health care workers for potential immunity as well as for research to battle the pandemic. 

We are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis that is affecting all of us in so many ways,” Lurie said in a statement. “Every passing day brings new stories of heartbreaking tragedy, inspirational courage, and hopeful innovation. We can and will get through this, but only if we work together, care for each other, and focus our attention and resources towards sustainable strategies. There are so many individuals and organizations who are making daily sacrifices, and we are incredibly thankful for their dedication and bravery. We must continue to support these efforts in every way that we can, while also seeking a solution that will help us move forward

“We have reached a critical point in our fight against COVID-19 in which testing for antibodies is absolutely essential both to protect our front-line workers in the short term and to develop treatments and vaccines that will save lives and help defeat the virus. With that in mind, I am proud to offer my support to Penn Medicine’s research efforts by establishing the COVID-19 Immunology Defense Fund. This fund will aid Penn’s multi-disciplinary approach in immunology, merging research in diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccine development. Researchers from those three areas will work hand-in-hand and rely upon one another to create an immediate and lasting impact both locally and worldwide.


According to Penn Medicine, Lurie’s donation will allow Penn to address the following critical needs: Developing rapid diagnostic testing, finding drugs that work against the virus and developing vaccines. 

Lurie, 68, is just the latest member in the Philadelphia sports scene to give money to a charitable cause amid the spread of COVID-19. 

This was a well-thought-out donation from Lurie after researching the best course of action to help solve short-term and long-term problems. This will hopefully make an immediate impact through immunity testing for health care workers but also a lasting impact through treatment and vaccine development. 

“In a time of national crisis, this is the kind of extraordinary partnership that can open doors and discover new pathways to address the profound challenges before us,” University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann said in a statement. “I am personally grateful to an exceptional civic leader and a great friend, Jeffrey Lurie, for giving us the tools to fight back against this pandemic in a way that may not only benefit our city and country but also the world.”

Lurie, in the release, asks for others to follow his lead in donating to Penn Medicine.

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