Singer-songwriter James Taylor donates $1M to Massachusetts General Hospital to fight coronavirus

Massachusetts General Hospital has a friend in James Taylor — the famed singer-songwriter, a Bay State native, and his wife, Kim Taylor, have donated $1 million to the medical center to support its fight against COVID-19.

“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 a 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.”

The Taylors’ donation will support the MGH President’s Emergency Response Fund, which was established after the Boston Marathon bombings. The fund is now being used to support the development of in-house testing for COVID-19, establish a coronavirus hotline for patients, expand telemedicine, purchase sorely needed personal protective equipment and transform parts of the hospital to accommodate patients sickened by the virus.

MGH was treating 29 patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday night, and were treating 104 persons under investigation for the virus. Several MGH employees have also tested positive, a spokeswoman told the Herald.

“The generosity of James and Kim Taylor will not only help Mass General respond to this outbreak but 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,” MGH President Dr. Peter L. Slavin said in statement.

Slavin said the gift offers a “sense of humanity and sends a heartwarming message to our staff that their efforts are appreciated, and they are not in this fight alone.”

The Taylors have deep ties to MGH. James Taylor was born at the hospital — where his father completed his residency in internal medicine, served as chief resident and conducted research. Kim Taylor has been on the board of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children for the past five years. The duo performed at a 2016 benefit event for the hospital’s Cancer Center that raised $2.6 million.

Kim Taylor said the couple is “proud to support a medical center that is leading the way on so many fronts” in what she called an “unprecedented time of deep concern.”

James Taylor is a Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee famous for hits such as “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Fire and Rain” and “Carolina on My Mind.” Taylor is scheduled to play Fenway Park with Brandi Carlile and Shawn Colvin on June 21 — though coronavirus could change that — and last played a concert at the ballpark in 2017. He also performed the national anthem at Fenway before Game 1 of the 2018 World Series.

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