Toledo businessmen fly medical supplies from Mexico to help with COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Apr. 2, 2020 at 12:17 AM EDT
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As COVID-19 puts a strain on medical supplies, Toledo's business leaders are stepping up to ensure those who need them have them.

"None of us could ever have dreamed anything like this," Brent Cousino, with Plante Moran Living Forward, said. "It's like surreal."

Cousino and Toledo Jet owner Dave Corwin worked together to fly nearly 100,000 protective masks into Toledo Express on Wednesday.

"This wasn't going anywhere until Saturday at about 5 p.m., and here they are," Cousino said of the supplies.

While it was a team effort, Cousino said Corwin, a devoted Toledoan working in Florida, did the heavy lifting by securing supplies from Monterrey, Mexico.

"It's something Dave wanted to do for our community," Cousino said. "It's a very large investment on his behalf."

On Wednesdays's trip, Corwin secured 80,000 surgical masks for Mercy Health and 450 reusable masks for Toledo police and firefighters. More than 40,000 more masks will make their way to Toledo on Friday thanks to Corwin's partnership with Aeronaves TSM, one of Mexico's largest transportation companies

"His client is just representative of folks there that care about helping us out, and I mean it's a humanitarian endeavor here," Cousino said.

With the worst of coronavirus yet to come, Toledo area doctors said having the masks will make all the difference.

"Every piece of protective equipment that we can get helps us to protect ourselves from becoming a bad part of the equation," Mercy St. Vincent's Medical Center emergency physician Dr. Randy King said.

As communities everywhere struggle to secure protective supplies, Toledo's mayor said the city is fortunate to have those who care in the midst of tough times.

"It's so special to have an event ... where we can pause and celebrate just the goodness that we have within us," Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said.