On behalf of the American Red Cross, US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink on Wednesday accepted a donation of 420,000 medical masks, which included 120,000 ones donated by the Vietnam Red Cross, and 300,000 donated by the Vietnam-US Alumni Club (VUSAC)-Hanoi.
| Representatives of the Vietnam Red Cross Society hand over the masks to the US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink in a symbolic ceremony in Hanoi on April 29, 2020. Photo: US Embassy in Hanoi|
“I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Vietnam Red Cross Society and the hundreds of individuals and organizations who contributed to this donation through VUSAC Hanoi. I have always believed that people-to-people relations are the most solid foundation for close and lasting ties between nations. I am so honored to be witnessing this outpouring of love and support,” said the ambassador at the handover ceremony.
In presenting the gift of masks from the Vietnam-US alumni community, VUSAC Hanoi President Nguyen Thu Ha said: “300,000 masks is a very small number compared to what is needed in the US. But we are proud to say that there is so much love behind every one of those masks. It’s also a small token of more than 900 individuals and organizations in our community of alumni and friends, to contribute to the 25th anniversary of the U.S-Vietnam relations this year.”
In mid-April, VUSAC Hanoi sent out a call to its members for donations to buy face masks as gifts to the American people. On closing the campaign, VUSAC members and non-members raised VND1.26 billion (US$53,600) from more than 900 individuals and organizations throughout Vietnam and from overseas.
|Representatives of the VUSAC hand over the masks to the US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink in a symbolic ceremony in Hanoi on April 29, 2020. Photo: US Embassy in Hanoi|
Organized in 2014, VUSAC is an official and independent body representing Vietnamese who have studied in the US, both on US government-sponsored programs and independently.
A thank-you message was post on the US Embassy’s Facebook page with the hashtag #TrustedPartnersStandTogether in the fight against #COVID19.
On April 16, the Vietnamese government gifted 200,000 cloth masks to the US government and people. In addition, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made another donation of 50,000 medical masks for the White House Office.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said Vietnam would continue to work closely with the US to push back the pandemic and minimize its negative impacts.
In response, Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink said the gift was a tremendous show of solidarity and support from Vietnam for his country, and pledged that the US would enhance collaboration with the Vietnamese side in dealing with the pandemic and in ensuring public health and safety.