HARLINGEN — The founder of Bass Pro Shops announced Tuesday he would donate 1 million facemasks to health care workers on the front lines in fighting COVID-19.
Johnny Morris, who also currently serves as CEO of the outdoor retail giant, made the announcement in Springfield, Missouri, the location of Bass Pro’s headquarters.
Jesse Garcia, general manager of Bass Pro Shops-Outdoor World in Harlingen, said 4,000 of the FDA-approved ASTM Level 1 masks will go to health-care workers in Cameron County.
A shortage of proper medical facemasks is occurring due to treatment and testing for COVID-19, Bass Pro said, leaving thousands of health-care workers vulnerable.
“We are extremely grateful to our nation’s health-care workers serving on the frontlines of this unprecedented global health crisis,” Morris said. “These heroic men and women continue to dedicate their lives to save the loved ones of others, and we are all honored to support them on behalf of everyone at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, and the communities we serve.”
The charitable organization Convoy of Hope is using its national network to identify the local hospitals and medical facilities that need masks and will help distribute them
Level 1 masks are for medical usage and designed for procedures with a low amount of fluid, blood, aerosol exposure or spray. They are the kind worn by most dental hygienists and should be effective for front-line medical staff treating COVID-19 patients.
One million Level 1 masks would cost roughly between $400,000 and $500,000 at current prices.
“The generosity of Johnny Morris will make a significant impact in the battle against coronavirus across North America,” said Jeff Nene spokesperson for Convoy of Hope.