In a surprising discovery, the National Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Washington, D.C., found 5,000 N95 medical masks tucked away inside of a crypt this morning and donated them to hospitals in need, reports People.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, medical professionals have struggled to get their hands on masks and other valuable supplies. The church’s donation is a big deal for the many nurses and doctors who are manning the frontlines of this deadly viral outbreak.
According to the official tweet from the cathedral, it sent 3,000 masks to MedStar hospital in Georgetown and 2,000 masks to the Children’s National Hospital. At least one small box was kept to take care of pastoral needs.
Luckily, the mask manufacturer and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reassured the church officials that the masks were still good to use, despite the fact they were stored in a crypt for years. A stonemason was doing routine work in the area when he found the “forgotten stash,” which was purchased more than a decade ago to help protect clergy members from the bird flu.
Seek and ye shall find, apparently.
Today @WNCathedral sent 3000 N95 masks to @MedStarGUH and 2000 to @ChildrensNatl after a stonemason found a forgotten stash in the Cathedral crypt. Certified by manufacturer as still good. pic.twitter.com/UNAvhOPssx
— Washington National Cathedral (@WNCathedral) March 25, 2020
“In these difficult and trying times, the Cathedral community is doing everything we can to help protect the most vulnerable among us from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Reverend Randolph Marshall Hollerith, the dean of the National Cathedral.
Dozens of Twitter users flocked to the comments section of the church’s tweet to commend them for donating the masks. They also expressed their surprise at the shocking — yet much-needed — find.
“Awesome work! As the parent of a @NatCathedralSch student who gets oncology treatments at @ChildrensNatl, I really appreciate this. We need to try our best to protect all of the dedicated and selfless frontline health care workers who sacrifice for us all,” tweeted one person, trailing their comment with a prayer hands emoji.
Since the shortage of medical supplies is such a problematic side effect of the pandemic, many organizations and unlikely sources have banded together to donate them. The People report noted that celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Bethenny Frankel have given millions in face masks and money to help healthcare professionals. Fashion designers such as Christian Siriano have also pledged to help create more face masks.
The Blitz News previously reported that Chinese billionaire Jack Ma had pledged to send the United States thousands of coronavirus tests and face masks. Even medical dramas like Grey’s Anatomy have sent their supplies to hospitals in need.