May 28, 2020: Bob Johnson, MLive — Health care workers in Lansing and other areas in the state of Michigan will have better protection against the coronavirus thanks to a sister city relationship fostered by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership.

According to a press release, LEAP, in collaboration with a local attorney, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and Hohhot Municipal Government in Inner Mongolia, China, organized the shipment of 20,000 medical-grade protective face masks for distribution to support front-line health care workers and others operating in high-risk COVID-19 environments across the Lansing area and within the state of Michigan.

The donation is the most significant of its kind from a Chinese government entity to the state of Michigan, the releases said.

“The city of Lansing is proud to be an international city,” Schor said. “Working with our LEAP partners, we have recently developed a relationship with Hohhot in Inner Mongolia, China. Hohhot saw that we have a need for masks to protect our health care workers and others on the front lines, and they reached out to help. This kind gesture will have a positive impact on protecting our community and I am appreciative for this donation of necessary personal protection equipment from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Government.”

Of the 20,000 masks donated, 10,000 will be distributed in the Lansing region to a number of dental offices, mental health facilities and retirement homes, and 10,000 will be similarly allocated across the state based on guidance from the Michigan Community Service Commission and State Emergency Operations Center.

LEAP coordinated and facilitated the donation of the 20,000 masks and covered the roughly $350 in import fees associated with accepting the donation when it arrived in the U.S.