“Each of us asks you to concentrate on the needs of your family, friends, neighbors, and all in your community," the former president said in a statement with his wife and grandson

By Maria Pasquini
March 30, 2020 04:43 PM
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Jimmy Carter and his family are encouraging their supporters to aid in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

In a statement last week, the former president urged everyone inclined to support The Carter Center in the near future to instead make a donation “to a local group that is reducing the suffering” caused by the global pandemic.

“As you are well aware, our country is facing a health crisis. Though the behaviors of COVID-19 are not fully known, what we do know makes it a global threat to our physical and economic health,” read a message written on behalf of Carter, his wife, Rosalynn Carter, and their grandson Jason Carter, chair of The Carter Center’s board of trustees.

“We all have every confidence that we will come together as a nation and overcome this invisible threat. This virus and its impact must be addressed at every level of government and society,” the Carters’ message continued. “Each of us is gratified at the examples of volunteers and community organizations that have quickly mobilized to help those in need.”

President Carter, 95, and his family also urged donors to think of their own loved ones and local communities during this difficult time.

“Each of us asks you to concentrate on the needs of your family, friends, neighbors, and all in your community. Your commitment will help stop this threat,” they wrote.

immy Carter
Former President Jimmy Carter in 2019
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The former first couple founded their Atlanta-based nonprofit in 1982, which is committed to a number of humanitarian causes, including fighting against preventable diseases.

President Carter has remained committed to giving back since leaving the White House in 1981, frequently volunteering with Habitat for Humanity as well as teaching Sunday school at his hometown church in Plains, Georgia.

To date, there have been at least 156,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States as well as 2,897 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

In Georgia, there have been 2,809 confirmed cases, the 12th most in the country, and 87 people have died.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.