Joel Embiid working with Sixers ownership to get antibody tests for healthcare workers
Per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Joel Embiid is establishing a funding campaign for COVID-19 antibody testing for front-line health care workers through Penn Medicine.
Last week, Embiid pledged $500,000 to cover the now reversed plan of the 76ers ownership in cutting employee wages by 20%. Today, Embiid is joined by Josh Harris and co-managing partner David Blitzer and creating a $1.3 million contribution to fund testing for 1,000 health care workers in the region.
“As Philadelphia prepares to cope with the spread of COVID-19, my heart goes out to all of the doctors and nurses who put themselves at risk of infection in order to help those in need,” Embiid said. “If the doctors and nurses get sick, then there is no one to help the rest of us who might get really sick over the next month.”
Embiid had been working with Harris, Blitzer, and general manager Elton Brand on ideas and projects they could get involved with to help the community deal with the public health crisis.
Embiid stated it’s not as easy as just writing a check, and since he has developed relationships at University of Pennsylvania dealing with his own injuries, he decided to get directly involved. After learning funding for antibody testing was one of the highest priorities, he immediately took action.
“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.”
Over the past week and a half, the Sixers have worked closely with Embiid to set up this research fund, as well as donations approaching eight figures to initiatives that support hunger relief, education and the medical community in Philadelphia.
Embiid is also donating to an organization called First Responders First that helps provide personal protective equipment and other resources to front-line health care workers.
Also worth noting again, Ben Simmons has created The Philly Pledge – a website where people can donate to local Philadelphia projects helping those effected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other athletes such as Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Claude Giroux, Zach Ertz, Jalen Mills, and more have also pledged to assist during the crisis.