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National Cathedral Donates Previously Forgotten Stockpile Of Masks

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Seek and ye shall find, apparently. That's what a tweet from the National Cathedral here in Washington read yesterday after 5,000 N95 respirator masks were discovered in the cathedral's crypt.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

With health care workers facing an extreme shortage of masks, uncovering this supply was like finding the holy grail. And church officials quickly donated the masks to two hospitals in the area.

SHAPIRO: So how did they get there in the first place?

CHANG: Well, according to the church, after the 2006 bird flu scare, they acquired the masks in case of a future pandemic. But until this week, they had totally forgotten about them.

SHAPIRO: Fortunately, the church's head stonemason, Joe Alonso, remembered they were there and was able to resurrect them at exactly the right time.

(SOUNDBITE OF FLYING LOTUS' "ALL IN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.