(WEST COLUMBIA, SC) - The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta (TECO) has donated 92,000 surgical masks to support South Carolina frontline medical personnel in the fight against COVID-19. South Carolina state government agencies worked together to ensure the delivery of the masks shipped directly from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s warehouse beginning on May 27, 2020.
Acting Director-General Daniel Hung of TECO in Atlanta expressed that Taiwan recognizes the drastic impact of COVID-19 in South Carolina, which led to this donation to assist healthcare workers. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen stated in her interview with Time Magazine, “COVID-19 is a humanitarian disaster that requires the joint efforts of all countries.” Taiwan is pleased to fulfill President Tsai’s promise of helping its international partners who are in urgent need of supplies.
Taiwan has already donated over 26 million masks to heavily impacted countries and regions since April. This donation was a part of Taiwan’s fourth wave of humanitarian efforts and global partnership, which included 3.15 million masks to the United States and 92,000 masks to South Carolina specifically. In total, Taiwan has donated 8.4 million medical masks to the United States.
State agencies involved with the delivery, receipt and warehousing of the masks include the Secretary of State’s Office, Emergency Management Division, and United States Representative Joe Wilson of the Second Congressional District.
“The Republic of China (Taiwan) and the State of South Carolina have enjoyed a fruitful sister-state relationship since 1981,” said South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond. “South Carolina businesses, leaders, and students have reaped the benefits of commercial, cultural and educational exchanges. Now our physicians and sick will benefit as well. I look forward to more opportunities where our states can share ideas and experiences.”
“For several months the SCEMD Logistics Team has been working diligently to get critical supplies like personal protective equipment into the state for our healthcare workers and first responders,” said Kim Stenson, Director of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. “We are greatly humbled by this generous donation of surgical masks by the people of Taiwan. This gift comes at precisely the right time to best help our families and communities across South Carolina.”
“I am grateful to Taiwan for this generous donation and for SCEMD for coordinating this important donation,” said U.S. Representative Joe Wilson. “In this time of incredible uncertainty, international partnership is very important, and I am thankful to see this success in South Carolina.”