By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) – The Turkish Exporters' Assembly has donated 100,000 medical face masks to the US state of Maryland to help it fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at a ceremony Tuesday in the city of Annapolis, Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith thanked the assembly and Turkish ambassador Serdar Kilic for the donation.
"We greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much," said Wobensmith, adding the donation "shows the great relationship we have with Turkey."
Kilic recalled the two planes of COVID-19 aid from Turkey this year and said this time the assembly has sent this equipment.
These masks will be a new indication of solidarity between the American and Turkish people, Kilic added.
The Turkish American National Steering Committee, or TASC, also donated 5,000 masks to the state, which has a Sister City Initiative with the Turkish city of Kocaeli.
In late April, the first shipment of a Turkish plane brought 500,000 surgical masks, 4,000 overalls, 2,000 liters of disinfectant, 1,500 goggles, 400 N-95 masks and 500 face shields. Another military cargo plane carried a second batch of medical supplies in early May.
Turkey has helped at least 50 countries, including Italy, Spain and the UK, and remains the world's third-largest provider of humanitarian aid during the pandemic.
The pandemic has killed more than 131,000 people in the US, with the number of infections nearing 3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.