â€śThere has not been a large funding community around infectious diseases, except for the Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust, maybe because it hasnâ€™t felt urgent,â€ť said Valerie Conn, president of the Science Philanthropy Alliance, an organization formed earlier this decade with a mission to give philanthropists the background they need to support the stately procession of basic science research.
Of course, that was before COVID-19. Now, itâ€™s undeniably urgent. With millions sickened worldwide, many new and longtime philanthropists and foundations have turned their focus to the coronavirus, motivated by experts who say the only true solutions to this disease are likely to be medical cures and vaccines. As a result, the Science Philanthropy Alliance has had to pivot from its highly deliberate approach to offering more â€śquick and dirtyâ€ť guidance for funders looking to plug right into a global health crisis.
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