Fighting the Coronavirus as a Community

Congressman Joe Wilson Op-Ed

At the start of this pandemic, personal protection equipment (PPE) was in short supply, partially because the Chinese Communist Party hoarded important medical supplies. In South Carolina and across the country, communities have come together to speed up the production of PPE. Through increased production and donations, PPE has become more accessible for our healthcare workers through community collaboration.

ZVerse in Columbia is a great example of our community members coming together to keep our community healthy. During these uncertain times, ZVerse stopped their normal work to use all resources to make shields to help our healthcare workers stay safe throughout this pandemic. I am grateful to them for working to meet this urgent need.

This month, soldiers in Fort Jackson volunteered to host a mobile coronavirus testing site right outside of their base. Our men and women in uniform give so much for us and it is great to see their support in this true time of need.

Throughout this pandemic, I’ve worked with our communities and medical facilities to coordinate PPE donations. Thanks to the generosity of SC Health in the Midlands, I had the opportunity to hand out 10,000 protective masks in May alongside West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles. These masks were given out throughout our community including to our local Sheriff’s Departments and Chambers of Commerce. I am so grateful to work hand in hand with our community to help keep our families safe from the coronavirus.

In July, I helped coordinate the donation of 96,000 masks to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. I am thankful to the Government of Taiwan and to TECO Atlanta for this generous donation. I am also grateful to South Carolina Emergency Management Division, their Director Kim Stenson and our state officials, including South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond, for coordinating this important donation. As a Senior Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I know the importance of international partnerships. This partnership with the Government of Taiwan is another example of the importance of collaboration during this pandemic.

There are countless other examples of how our community supports one another in times of need. This pandemic has shown the strength of our community and our ability come together and help one another. Community support for our healthcare professionals on the front line and those fighting to stay healthy is truly inspiring.

Please remember that if you or a loved one is concerned about the coronavirus to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1-800-CDC-INFO. And know that the office of South Carolina’s Second District is here to help you, please reach out to the Midlands or Aiken office if you need support or help with a government agency. I will continue to do everything I can to support the frontline heroes of our communities.