The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it has accepted a donation of half a million protective masks from the Republic of Korea to assist the department in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
The donated masks will be distributed for use nationally across VA.
The masks arrived at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility in Prince George’s County, Maryland on a South Korean military transport flight. Both VA and South Korean embassy officials were present to meet the flight.
“The Republic of Korea’s generous gift to America’s Veterans is deeply appreciated and we humbly accept,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “We will use it to carry out our solemn mission of caring for our Veterans. It is also a sign of the deep and ongoing respect our two nations have for each other — cemented nearly 70 years ago in a time of war and great crisis. So many years later, we are joined in another just and noble cause of containing a pandemic that threatens our citizens’ lives and livelihoods and poses a grave threat to the Veterans we have both pledged to protect. This gesture has indeed touched the hearts of American Veterans and we are grateful to have such a close ally in these uncertain times.”
Visit VA’s public health response for more information on ways to protect against COVID-19.