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Giving Thanks for the Support of Friends in China

Ying Hua, faculty
China to the U.S.
women wearing PPEs in a hospital corridor

Alumni, parents, and friends from across China have mobilized tirelessly to provide support in the form of much-needed protective apparel. The Hong Kong Cornell Alumni Club fundraised for a donation to send 5,000 N95 masks and 20,000 surgical masks to Weill Cornell Medicine. Parents of a student (class of ’23) organized the logistics to send 20,000 face masks to the Ithaca campus for essential workers and 1,800 sets of protective suits to Weill Cornell. Gang Yu (MS’86) facilitated the purchase of 40,000 N95 masks. In all, Chinese alumni and friends have pulled together—or are working on—more than 55,000 N95 masks, 50,000 surgical masks, and hundreds more gowns and gloves. All of these shipments required mobilizing others in China, including the members of the China Advisory Board and others who helped to contact suppliers and organize shipments. The deliveries were facilitated on the U.S. side by a dedicated team at Weill Cornell with assistance from former U.S. Congressman Steve Israel, head of Cornell’s Institute of Politics and Global Affairs. Israel reached out to staff in Senator Chuck Schumer’s office to expedite customs evaluation. “So many people in China want to help,” said Ying Hua, faculty director of the Cornell China Center. “They’ve been through the worst of this, and they know how desperately we need these supplies. They love Cornell and want to do everything they can to support us fighting the virus.” 
Cornell’s relationship with China is a well-established one. “We have a long history of academic collaboration,” said Wendy Wolford, vice provost of international affairs, “but now our collaborations also come from true friendship.”