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Rihanna donates safety gear to New York City hospitals

NY hospitals battle virus: "A catastrophe"
Scenes of "catastrophe" as New York hospitals battle coronavirus 03:57

Rihanna and her nonprofit organization, the Clara Lionel Foundation, have donated much needed personal protective equipment to New York City hospitals, which are overwhelmed with sick patients amid the coronavirus pandemic

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday praised the pop star, tweeting in part, "We're so appreciative of your help and that of so many others who have stepped up." As of Friday, there are more than 39,000 coronavirus cases in New York state.

On Monday, Rihanna and her foundation, which is named after her grandparents, announced a $5 million donation to several organizations including Direct Relief, Feeding America, Partners in Health, The World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the International Rescue Committee. 

The funds, the foundation said, will go to food banks in the U.S., the acceleration of testing and care in countries like Haiti and Malawi and toward providing protective gear for health care workers. 

"When we first began this year, never could we have imagined how COVID-19 would so dramatically alter our lives," the statement said. "It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from, this pandemic will affect us all. And for the world's most vulnerable, the worst may be yet to come."

Cuomo also cited Rihanna's nonprofit as one of the several organizations and companies that have donated money and supplies to the state. Some of the donated supplies include hand sanitizer, equipment for field hospitals, free flights for medical volunteers and medical supplies and support items. 

"New York is fighting a war against this virus and we need all the help we can get. The generosity of these companies, organizations and individuals — and many others coming forward every day to offer support — will play a critical role in our mission to bolster our hospital surge capacity, support frontline workers and get people the help they need," Cuomo said in a statement.

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