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U2’s Bono thanks Capitol Police in visit to push for COVID funding

(WASHINGTON) — He still hasn’t found what he’s looking for: emergency COVID-19 relief funding to distribute more vaccines to underserved countries.

U2’s frontrunner Paul “Bono” Hewson visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday as he continued to lobby lawmakers to adopt a global plan to vaccinate 70% of the world’s population globally by September as additional COVID funding remains stalled. The ONE Campaign, an international anti-poverty organization co-founded by Bono, is behind the effort.

There are still 2.8 billion people around the world waiting to get their first COVID vaccine shot, according to a United Nations analysis.

While on the Hill, Bono also took time to thank Capitol Police officers for defending democracy on Jan. 6, 2021, telling them that they’re respected around the world for their bravery.

“I haven’t been back since Jan. 6, and you guys saved America as far as I’m concerned from so much awfulness on that day,” Bono told them in a video the Capitol Police posted on Twitter. “And I just want to say, people around the world really respect you.”

Bono was in Washington for a Thursday evening ceremony where he’ll be awarded the Fulbright Prize for International Understanding for his “commitment to seek justice by fighting to end extreme poverty, tackle global health crises, and spur economic development in the poorest parts of the planet.” Past recipients include former President Jimmy Carter and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

His visit also comes two weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi read a poem he wrote aloud at a St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon — which names Ukraine’s Volodymyr President Zelenskyy as a saint — amid Russia’s ongoing invasion.

“I got this message this morning from Bono,” Pelosi said of the Ireland-born singer. “And they struggle for us to be free, from the psycho in this human family. Ireland’s sorrow and pain, is now the Ukraine, and Saint Patrick’s name now Zelenskyy,” she read, quoting Bono.

Bono was spotted by reporters leaving Pelosi’s office on Wednesday. He was on the Hill to meet with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate about the need for supplemental COVID funding for the international vaccine response, according to the ONE campaign.

The global superstar is no stranger to the Capitol Rotunda.

He also made stops there while on tour in the nation’s capital in 2017 and 2018 to thank lawmakers on behalf of the ONE Campaign for various funding.

ABC News’ Mariam Khan contributed to this report.

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