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Sean Penn's Nonprofit Is Working To Administer COVID-19 Tests To Angelenos

CORE Founder Sean Penn and LAFD (Courtesy CORE)
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Sean Penn may be widely known as an A-list actor, but he’s also the founder of the nonprofit organization CORE — Community Organized Relief Effort. The organization has provided services following major disasters in Haiti and New Orleans, and is now working to increase testing for the coronavirus in Los Angeles.

To date, CORE has tested more than 20,000 Angelenos at six different sites in L.A. and Malibu.

Penn spoke with our newsroom in an interview with Nick Roman, who hosts KPCC's All Things Considered on 89.3 FM.

Penn said that the lessons he and his team members have learned over the past decade allowed them to act fast when COVID-19 hit.

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“Because I had this organization with skill sets, with a lot of talented, very bright people, and very experienced, when this outbreak happened with this pandemic, I was able to quickly mobilize our people to respond,” said Penn.

Crediting, again, the people with whom he works, Penn said that his organization’s efforts have allowed firefighters to get back into emergency response.

With an eye toward expanding his test sites outside of L.A., Penn added that he hopes the pandemic will ultimately push Americans towards fact-based decision-making.

“It's my hope that this will be an experience that turns the light on and says, we've got to pay attention to science,” he said. “We have to have public policy that pays attention to science, supports science… I am an optimist almost enough to believe that this can really unify and move us forward.”

You can hear the full interview below.

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