Saturday, 18 April 2020

Oprah Winfrey Says Health Workers Are the 'Best of Us' in Moving 'One World: Together At Home' Speech

The philanthropist added that governments need to "step up" and provide funds and support to medics.

Why Global Citizens Should Care: Frontline health workers are instrumental in the global COVID-19 coronavirus response, putting their own health on the line to protect and care for others. The One World: Together At Home global special will celebrate and support these incredible people, and unite the world in support of the global COVID-19 response. Join the movement by taking action through the Together At Home campaign to combat COVID-19 here.

Oprah Winfrey, media mogul, philanthropist, activist, and all round inspiration, used her moment during One World: Together At Home to remind us of the risks that health workers are taking, and to praise their “phenomenal acts of courage” seen all over the world.


Winfrey began her message to Global Citizens tuning into the broadcast event at home by echoing the words of Nelson Mandela, who once said “that courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it”.

“In every country, in every continent, we have seen phenomenal acts of courage from people who are on the frontlines of this fight against coronavirus,” Winfrey continued. “I tell you, we have all appreciated health care workers. But never like now."

"They have done this, often at considerable risk to themselves because, when there are lives at stake, their first thoughts are not about themselves, but for others," she said. "They truly are the best of us."

But she highlighted that "their compassion and their true acts of service is a call to action for all of us."
Pictured: Oprah Winfrey on Friday, February 7, 2020 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

“We need to ensure that governments around the world step up now and provide the health care workers with the equipment, with the funds, with the support they need,” she continued.

As well as addressing the global nature of the pandemic, Winfrey gave a special mention to South Africa, where her nonprofit the Oprah Winfrey Foundation is based.

"When thinking of Mandela's words," she continued, "I think of the courage and resilience of the people of South Africa."

"Fifty-six million brave souls who have endured so much for so long, and now have to face down this pandemic, while also reconciling on a daily basis injustice and inequality, and communities still ransacked by HIV and AIDs," she said. "But they keep going."

This is Winfrey's second appearance as part of a Global Citizen event, following her heartfelt contribution to Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 in Johannesburg in December 2018, in the year that marked the 100th anniversary of Mandela's birth.

Winfrey has herself donated $10 million to COVID-19 relief efforts for communities facing food instability in the US, including $1 million to America’s Food Fund — a fund that launched in at the start of April to raise money to provide food for people low incomes, older people, and families who have faced job loss during the pandemic.

Winfrey ended her speech for One World: Together At Home by saying: "Tonight, we stand as one world, united in our fight to rid the world of this disease and to ensure that nothing like this even happens again. And when and if it does, we will be ready."

Join the movement by heading to our Together At Home campaign page, and taking action online to support frontline health workers and the global COVID-19 response.

You can still tune in to One World: Together At Home too, to enjoy the show. Find out how to tune in wherever you are in the world here.

You can see all of Global Citizen's COVID-19 coverage here.

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