‘Humanity at its best’: Elderly Kansas farmer mails N95 mask to NY governor for health care worker

A retired Kansas farmer with a sick wife sent New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo a spare N95 mask, along with a letter asking him to pass it along to a doctor or nurse working to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

During his daily coronavirus briefing on Friday in Albany, Cuomo read the letter he received from Dennis — a farmer who found a spare mask and felt compelled to send it to a health care worker. Cuomo called the gesture a “snapshot of humanity.”

“I'm a retired farmer hunkered down in northeast Kansas with my wife who has but one lung and occasional problems with her remaining lung. She also has diabetes,” Dennis wrote in the letter.

“We are in our 70’s now and frankly I am afraid for her,” the letter continued.

“Enclosed, find a solitary N95 mask, left over from my farming days. It has never been used. If you could, would you please give this mask to a nurse or doctor in your state? I have kept four masks for my immediate family,” he wrote.

“Please keep on doing what you do so well, which is to lead,” the letter concluded, which was signed by Dennis and Sharon.

letter and cuomo 16x9

A letter sent to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pictured above, alongside Cuomo on April 24, 2020 during his daily coronavirus press briefing in Albany, New York. (Photo credit: Office of the Governor / State of New York)

Cuomo said he was touched by the letter, calling Dennis’ actions “selfless.”

“He sends one mask to New York for a doctor or nurse, keeps four masks,” Cuomo told reporters. “You want to talk about a snapshot of humanity? You have five masks. What do you do? You keep all five? Do you hide the five masks? Do you keep them for yourselves or others? No, you send one mask one mask to New York to help a nurse or a doctor. How beautiful is that?”

The governor also shared the letter on Twitter “as inspiration,” calling it “humanity at its best.”

New York has been the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States with at least 271,000 people in the state testing positive for the virus, including about 146,000 in New York City.

RELATED: US coronavirus deaths surpass 50,000, according to Johns Hopkins

This story was reported from Cincinnati.