Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers have teamed up to donate $1.3million to Penn Medicine for critical support of healthcare workers fighting coronavirus.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc globally, with more than one million confirmed cases and over 58,800 deaths.
Sport has also been brought to a standstill amid the coronavirus pandemic – the NBA among the leagues on hiatus around the world.
76ers All-Star Embiid, along with managing partner Josh Harris and co-managing partner David Blitzer made a significant contribution to the funding campaign for COVID-19 antibody testing of frontline healthcare workers, identifying those with potential immunity.
"During this pandemic, many doctors and nurses are working like soldiers on the front lines of a war and they need to be provided with as much armour as possible in this battle," Embiid said.
"COVID-19 antibody testing can help Philadelphia health care workers at this critical time, and we need to do everything possible to help those heroes who are putting their lives at risk to help us."
Harris added: "The only way for us to get through this terrible global crisis is to ensure a safe work environment for health care professionals and ultimately find a treatment for COVID-19. We are very proud to partner with the incredible team at Penn Medicine, who are tirelessly working towards this by identifying immunity in our brave doctors and nurses.
"Joel has been a leader in highlighting the urgent need for this kind of testing—David and I thank him for his leadership in this area and are excited to join forces with him. Our medical workers are on the frontlines of this crisis, have been hit hardest by it and need all the help and support we can give them. We have rough days ahead, but with collective action like this, together we will make it through."
University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann said: "We are enormously grateful to Joel Embiid, Josh Harris, and David Blitzer for stepping up in a time of great need with forward-thinking philanthropy—helping us to understand COVID-19 through the lens of precision medicine.
"We will take this new and powerful knowledge about how our bodies react to the virus and use it to protect our healthcare heroes, sharing these lessons with the City of Philadelphia and across the world."