The United Nations along with the US Mission to the UN has donated 250,000 protective face masks to the medical professionals in New York City.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took possession of the masks near the UN Headquarters on Saturday.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the face masks, kept in United Nations stores in New York, are in surplus to the UN requirements and “will be given to the medical professionals in New York City who have been working courageously, selflessly and tirelessly in response to the spread of COVID-19 across the boroughs in the hope that they play some small role in saving lives”.
He said, “We speak with one voice to express our resolute support for this great city and its proud people. To us, New York is not just our home or the headquarters of the United Nations. It is a vibrant international capital through which the world communicates, debates, trades and prospers.” Guterres said he hopes the modest donation will make a difference. The UN and the US Mission personnel are currently working with the Mayor”s office to ensure the swift delivery of the masks to medical facilities around the city, he said.
The Mayor said healthcare workers are heroes and everything must be done to protect them. He thanked the United Nations for the “much needed” donation.
Commissioner for the NYC Mayor”s Office for International Affairs Penny Abeywardena said the surgical masks will help protect the health care workers fighting on the front lines of this pandemic as they work to save lives.
“This is a time when all New Yorkers should be working together to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our city and that includes our diplomatic community. Furthermore, this generous donation goes to highlight the enduring bond between the United Nations and New York City,” Abeywardena said.
The donation comes in response to de Blasio”s appeal for donations of supplies to help the city”s health care workers treat New Yorkers affected by COVID-19.
New York City remains the epicenter of the pandemic in the US with more than 29,000 confirmed cases and 517 deaths as of Saturday morning.