On Wednesday, October 13, broadway lovers and household names lined the red carpet outside of the Richard Rodgers Theatre in NYC just hours before the Hamilton show. The event was sponsored by CODE (RED) — a partnership between the non-profit (RED) and leaders in the financial services sector — to call a "code red" on the COVID-19 pandemic and help raise money to support access to relief in the world's poorest countries.
(RED) joined forces with Bank of America, American Express®, Citi and PayPal to step up and deliver private sector money to support the fight against AIDS and COVID-19. "(RED)'s cavalry of companies has delivered nearly $700 million to fight AIDS in Africa — and tens of millions more in marketing neon that has encouraged governments in the fight too. That mission is as essential as ever, but in 2021 you cannot fight AIDS without fighting COVID-19," said Bono (RED)'s Co-Founder. "So I am punching the air today that CODE (RED) is launching to get COVID-19 vaccines, testing, PPE, oxygen and other support to countries that need it. Less than 5 percent of people in Africa are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while in America and Europe shots are piling up on shelves. We have to do more and faster to get vaccines and other vital defenses to the hundreds of millions of people who still can't access them."
"Global public health – from New York to Nairobi — will continue to be under threat until everyone in the world has access to COVID-19 relief," said Jennifer Lotito, (RED)'s President & Chief Operating Officer. "(RED) has a legacy of 15 years fighting the AIDS pandemic, and today, we are launching a new initiative with the finance industry to help fight COVID-19. We are so grateful to American Express® for leading the charge in launching CODE (RED), and to Citi, PayPal and their customers for donating points, to our proud partner Bank of America for joining forces with us once again and Lin-Manuel Miranda for supporting this fight."
Many celebrities walked the red carpet at the Hamilton show, showcasing their support for CODE (RED), including Glee alum Lea Michele, Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein, supermodel Anne Vyalitsyna, comedian Phoebe Robinson, Big Sky actress Katheryn Winnick, amongst others. And of course we can't forget the Hamilton playwright himself, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Keep scrolling to see these stars take on the red carpet, and learn the ways that you can help support the CODE (RED) businesses in the fight against COVID-19.
American Express® Card Members can use Membership Rewards points towards a donation with PayPal's Pay with Rewards feature to help provide COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccines for people most in need. In addition, American Express will donate $250,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts championed by (RED) and its partners, the Fund for the Global Fund and COVAX, and will match employee contributions to the campaign. One hundred percent of all funds raised will support the Global Fund's COVID-19 Response Mechanism and the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
"Communities around the world need our support more than ever, and we are committed to mobilizing our resources to accelerate the delivery of life-saving vaccines and other pandemic relief worldwide," said Stephen J. Squeri, American Express Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "As the leading global organization fighting the world's most pressing health emergencies, (RED) is the perfect partner to facilitate our efforts to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines to billions of people still waiting for availability."
Bank of America
Bank of America has partnered with (RED) in the fight against AIDS since 2014 and today is proud to help launch this new initiative. Bank of America will support CODE (RED) with a $3 Million (USD) commitment to the Global Fund, as part of their broader $35 Million pledge through 2025. In addition, Bank of America will continue to help drive broad support of the Global Fund with messaging across its platforms, including their vast ATM and Financial Center network.
"The global pandemic continues to have a disproportionate impact on many of the world's most vulnerable communities," said Anne Finucane, Vice Chairman, Bank of America. "Building on our partnership with (RED) and the Global Fund since 2014 to help in the fight against AIDS, today Bank of America proudly joins CODE (RED) to help drive critical awareness and funding to support (RED)'s efforts in the global COVID response. Our commitment of $35 million to the Global Fund will help to fight both pandemics — funding AIDS prevention and treatment and helping to provide equitable access to COVID testing, treatment and personal protection equipment."
Citi is providing eligible U.S. cardmembers with the option to donate their ThankYou® Points via PayPal's Pay with Rewards feature to the Code (RED) Campaign, which provides COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccines within vulnerable communities. All points donations to the Code (RED) Campaign will be converted and transferred as cash in support of the Global Fund's COVID-19 Response Mechanism and the COVAX AMC. Citi will be amplifying the CODE (RED) initiative through many of its marketing channels, including online and through digital communications to its millions of ThankYou members. In addition, Citi will donate $250,000 to (RED)'s efforts to provide global COVID-19 relief.
Throughout the pandemic, Citi has provided support to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, as the financial advisor for the COVAX Facility, its global procurement mechanism for COVID-19 vaccines. This support aims to ensure that Gavi accomplishes its mission to save lives and protect people's health by increasing the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines. In addition, Citi and the Citi Foundation have committed more than $130 million in support of COVID-19-related community relief and economic recovery efforts globally.
"It's crucial that we expand access to vaccines in low- and middle-income countries that are disproportionately impacted by this pandemic," said Jane Fraser, Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup. "With this effort, we're proud to further expand our relationship with Gavi along with (RED), our peers, and our cardmembers to make a meaningful difference in combating this crisis on a global scale."
PayPal has extensive experience in mobilizing customers to support the cause and relief efforts close to their hearts, recently focusing on helping support national vaccination efforts in underserved communities. As one of the largest digital donation platforms in the world, PayPal supports more than 600,000 nonprofits with fundraising, and engaging a community of more than 400 million consumers and merchants to contribute to charitable efforts around the globe. By extending PayPal's longstanding partnerships with American Express, Bank of America and Citibank to support CODE (RED), PayPal customers can easily contribute and donate to the Global Fund using PayPal's Pay with rewards feature, seamlessly converting credit card rewards to an equivalent dollar amount. All donations are made to the PayPal Giving Fund which then grants 100% of donations to the Global Fund, supporting the essential COVID-19 recovery effort.
"Throughout the global pandemic, we have worked to help our customers and their communities navigate the impacts of COVID-19 — and to provide easy ways for them to give to those in dire need around the world," said Dan Schulman, president and CEO, PayPal. "We are proud to extend our partnerships with American Express, Bank of America, and Citibank, to support CODE (RED) and its vital mission of global pandemic relief by making it easier than ever for customers to give in any way they can through the PayPal platform."
"COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on the fight against HIV, TB and malaria, hitting particularly the most vulnerable communities around the world," said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "We must unite to beat COVID-19 and ensure everyone has access to life saving tools and services. We are immensely grateful to (RED) for calling a CODE (RED) on COVID-19. It is time for another push to save lives."
"In the midst of this unprecedented pandemic, vaccine inequity combined with the rising threat of variants means it is more important than ever for the private and public health sectors to act together," said Dr. Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO. "We are thankful to (RED) for calling a CODE (RED) on COVID-19 and for supporting COVAX as we strive to bring COVID-19 under control."