American casino and resort company Las Vegas Sands has announced that it will donate two million surgical masks and 20,000 protective suits to help healthcare workers, first responders and non-profit organisations battle the COVID-19 outbreak.
Health mask donations are expected to be distributed from Nevada corporate headquarters as well as in New York, which has been the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.
Hospitals and first responders in Nevada will be given the protective suits and masks, with the two million emergency masks set to be shared equally with New York.
Sheldon G. Adelson, chairman and chief executive of Sands, stated: “Hopefully our donations will help protect people on the front lines so they can continue their invaluable work, and we can start to see the numbers of people affected begin to diminish.
“Our properties in Las Vegas may be empty right now, but our hearts are full of hope for the future. The determination and courage I have seen in our Team Members, which I know is the same throughout this country, gives me every confidence we will get through this unprecedented crisis.”
This gift marks the second round of personal protective equipment donations that Sands made, building on the previous donation from the organisation that saw it distribute 100,000 masks to the healthcare community in Las Vegas, 5,000 masks to the Metro Police Department in Las Vegas, and 1,900 coronavirus test kits to Nevada State.
Adelson went on to explain the masks being sent to New York: “People are looking to New York as a bellwether for what comes next, both in terms of the pandemic’s impact and for how quickly the region, particularly New York City, is able to recover from the aftermath of the virus. It’s important we steer resources to the places where the need is the greatest and most urgent.”
Sands is also honouring its commitment to send $250,000 to many local groups in addition to supplying protective equipment. The company is also donating to Three Square, the largest hunger-relief agency in Southern Nevada; Communities In Schools, which helps offer meals to children who would otherwise participate in free and discounted meal programmes in their school; and Share Village Las Vegas, a veteran aid organisation that also runs a neighbourhood food pantry.
In particular, Sands has donated 60 food pallets and over 55,000 water bottles to local organisations while still continuing to pay its entire staff team in Las Vegas following the closing of its property.