Cuomo called the letter "beautiful" and said it was an example of Americans showing support for one another during the coronavirus pandemic

By Benjamin VanHoose
April 24, 2020 04:20 PM

One retired farmer left an impression on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo by his surprising act of kindness amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, Cuomo, 62, highlighted a handwritten letter that he said he'd received from a former farmer from Kansas named Dennis, who also sent Cuomo an unused N95 mask for the frontline workers dealing with coronavirus patients.

New York has been the country's hardest-hit state in the outbreak, with more than 270,000 cases and 16,000 deaths, according to available data.

According to a copy of the letter Cuomo shared on social media, Dennis wrote that his wife, Sharon, was sick, but that they wanted to pitch in however they could during the crisis.

"Dear Mr. Cuomo, I seriously doubt that you will ever read this letter as I know you are busy beyond belief with a disaster that has befallen our country," Dennis began the letter, dated March 26. "We currently ... are a nation in crisis, of that there is no doubt."

"I'm a retired farmer hunkered down in N.E. Kansas with my wife who has but one lung and occasional problems with her remaining lung. She also has diabetes. We are in our 70s now and frankly I am afraid for her," Dennis wrote.

"Enclosed find a solitary N-95 mask left over from my farming days. It has never been used," he continued. "If you could, would you please give this mask to a nurse or doctor in your city. I have kept four masks for my immediate family. Please keep on doing what you do so well, which is to lead."

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Along with a photo of the letter, Cuomo wrote on Instagram: "This is humanity at its best. I share his letter as inspiration."

On Friday, during his daily briefing on the virus, the governor spoke about the letter, holding the mask sent by Dennis while speaking highly of the Kansan's generosity.

He mentioned that stories like these make up for "all the ugliness" during the pandemic.

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"You wanna talk about a snapshot for 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?" Cuomo said. "No, you send one mask, one mask to New York to help a nurse or a doctor."

He added: "How beautiful is that? I mean, how selfless is that? How giving is that? ... It's that love, that courage, that generosity of spirit that makes this country so beautiful."

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