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Julia Roberts, other stars hand over social-media spotlight to health experts

Roberts, who won an Oscar in 2001 for 'Erin Brockovich,' kicks off the project on Thursday by interviewing Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

FILE: US actress Julia Roberts attends the 'Ben Is Back' New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on 3 December 2018 in New York City. Picture: AFP

NEW YORK - Actors Julia Roberts, Hugh Jackman and Millie Bobby Brown are among the celebrities who will turn over their social media accounts to health experts to share facts and promote a science-driven approach to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roberts, who won an Oscar in 2001 for Erin Brockovich, kicks off the project on Thursday by interviewing Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The #PassTheMic initiative is organised by global nonprofit ONE Campaign which aims to spotlight “health and economic experts ... discussing a global response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.” The emphasis is on data, science and facts.

According to ONE, the stars will turn over their social media accounts for one day to frontline workers, health, economic and other experts.

In the interview with Roberts on her personal social media account, Fauci says the main problem to solve is “the extraordinary health disparities” between countries.

“Right now, if you take southern Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, parts of Asia, South America and even parts of the Caribbean as areas that don’t have the healthcare system to be able to respond the way one can respond in New York or LA or New Orleans or Chicago, we have really a moral responsibility for people throughout the world,” Fauci said.

Many of the participating celebrities have a big social-media footprint. Roberts, Jackman and Brown have a combined total of about 71 million followers on Instagram alone.

Other celebrities taking part in the campaign include Penelope Cruz, David Oyelowo, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rainn Wilson and Shailene Woodley.

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