Sands donating 2 million medical masks, 20,000 protective suits to relief efforts in NY, Nevada

March 31, 2020 8:03 PM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
March 31, 2020 8:03 PM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports

Las Vegas Sands is donating 2 million medical masks and 20,000 protective suits to help health-care providers, first responders, and nonprofit organizations in New York and Nevada deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

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The company, which operates casinos in Macau, obtained the medical masks from China.

Medical mask donations will be distributed from the company’s corporate headquarters in Nevada and its offices in New York. Each state will receive 1 million masks while the 20,000 protective suits will be donated to hospitals and first responders in Nevada.

In a statement Tuesday, Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson said New York has become the nation’s epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

“Hopefully our donations will help protect people on the front lines so they can continue their invaluable work, and we can start to see the numbers of people affected begin to diminish,” Adelson said.

The company decided to close its two Las Vegas Strip resorts ahead of Governor Steve Sisolak’s executive order that shuttered the state’s casino industry.

Las Vegas Sands is currently paying its nearly 10,000 employees wages and providing full health-care benefits while the properties remain closed.

“Our properties in Las Vegas may be empty right now, but our hearts are full of hope for the future,” Adelson said. “The determination and courage I have seen in our team members, which I know is the same throughout this country, gives me every confidence we will get through this unprecedented crisis.”

Las Vegas Sands previously provided 100,000 masks to the Las Vegas health-care community and 5,000 masks to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department. The company also donated 1,900 coronavirus test kits to Nevada.

Sisolak, in an interview with The Nevada Independent last Friday, commended Adelson having one of Las Vegas Sands’ corporate jets fly to Macau to bring back the test kits.

“He flew them in, they had them in Macau at his casino there,” Sisolak said. “That helped us for a long time.”

Adelson said the 1 million masks being sent to New York will help health-care professionals and first responders in the state currently with the most cases of coronavirus.

“People are looking to New York as a bellwether for what comes next, both in terms of the pandemic’s impact and for how quickly the region, particularly New York City, is able to recover from the aftermath of the virus,” he said. “It’s important we steer resources to the places where the need is the greatest and most urgent.”

In addition to the protective gear donations in Nevada, Sands is fulfilling a pledge to give $250,000 to several local organizations: Three Square, Southern Nevada’s largest hunger-relief organization; Communities In Schools, which is helping provide meals to students who would otherwise be participating in their school’s free and subsidized meal programs; and Share Village Las Vegas, a veterans assistance organization that also runs a community food pantry.

Las Vegas Sands donated 60 pallets of food and more 55,000 bottles of water to Las Vegas organizations.

Also Tuesday, Wynn Las Vegas said it will donate 1,000 meals per day to Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. Over the next two weeks, the resort’s culinary team will assist with preparing boxed meals to help non-profit’s daily meal service.

Wynn President Marilyn Spiegel, who is also a Catholic Charities board member, said the company will help the community as best it can during the pandemic.

“We have an incredible team of volunteers at Wynn who always rise to the occasion no matter what the circumstance,” Spiegel said. “I am proud of their work to assist others who are facing hardship.”

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.