A United Fight Against COVID-19

Cutting-Edge Research

Left to right: Leaders from Harvard—Vice President for Alumni Affairs & Development Brian Lee, Vice Provost for International Affairs Mark Elliott, HMS Dean George Q. Daley, Provost Alan Garber, and President Lawrence Bacow—and China Evergrande Group—CEO James Xia, Vice President Min Chen, Liaison General Jack Liu, and Jason Huang, assistant to the general manager of the Investment Management Center— met in February to discuss how Harvard might aid the world’s response to the coronavirus.

In late December 2019, clusters of patients with an unusual pneumonia started presenting to hospital emergency rooms in Wuhan, China. Within weeks, the culprit was identified as a novel coronavirus: SARS-CoV-2. By then the pathogen had spread, with stunning infectivity, to other parts of the globe. It was clear that the impact of this virus would be widespread and have devastating consequences.

Chairman Hui Ka Yan of China Evergrande Group—a generous supporter of Harvard University, including the Evergrande Center for Immunologic Diseases at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital—sent a letter to Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow, JD ’76, MPP ’76, PhD ’78, in late January expressing concern and hope that Harvard scientists might help the world’s response to this new virus

We are confident that the international cooperation between our medical and scientific research communities in China and America will result in extraordinary contributions to the global fight against the coronavirus.
James Xia