Sean Penn Praised By LA Mayor as His Organization Conducts Drive-Up Coronavirus Testing

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In his daily briefing Thursday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti highlighted some of the partnerships the city has established to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

One of those partners is Community Organized Relief Effort, a nonprofit organization founded by actor and philanthropist Sean Penn in 2010 after an earthquake devastated Haiti.

“In Los Angeles, CORE has stepped up with volunteers to grow our testing capacity,” Garcetti said.

According to the mayor, CORE has provided almost 70 staff to run four of the city’s 30 testing sites ensuring those sites can operate while freeing up firefighter/paramedics from the Los Angeles Fire Department to focus on emergency response work.

“This is a very unique situation for us,” Penn said.

With the cooperation of the city and the fire department, CORE has been able to offer free drive-thru testing across the county, including at a site in Malibu that offers free testing to all first responders.

Penn credited Garcetti’s leadership in the city for allowing the organization to mobilize quickly in the wake of the pandemic.

“This is what I hope will be a model in terms of the governance and [non-governmental organization] or community foundation partnerships that can be replicated not only in the city of Los Angeles and throughout California, but ultimately throughout the country,” Penn said. “And it’s going to be part of our job to take lessons learned… and be able to animate that message beyond.”