April 03, 2020

JamesEMcDonald.jpg“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ― Fred Rogers

In the midst of this global pandemic, The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law is proud of the ways in which alumni are responding to the challenges brought about by COVID-19. This Founders Day, we wish to highlight some of the helpers that make up our alumni community:

James McDonald ’69—Catholic Law Board of Visitors member, Principal of James E. McDonald, P.A., and counsel to McLuskey & McDonald, P.A.—shared about the work he is doing to distribute critically needed medical masks.

“I’m a lawyer, and I’m also Vice Mayor of my town—Pinecrest, Florida—and on top of that, I also have a consulting company for a number of years now. Someone who I’ve dealt with in the past—we’ve collaborated on other things—mentioned to me that he is also dealing with importing masks for the coronavirus, so I have been collaborating with him, trying to make these masks available to institutions, government agencies, anyone, frankly, who needs them because there is a shortage.

I know that around the country a lot of municipalities are hurting, and they are looking for these kinds of supplies. In fact, we donated to my town—we’ve given to some of the local police down here in gratis just because we want them to have them—and we’ve also sold them to the Department of Homeland Security and we continue to make them available to counties on a much larger scale. I just felt that this was something I can do. I have a lot of contacts and it’s important to get these kinds of masks out there, not only to protect our first responders, but as the CDC is now saying, everyone needs to be wearing them.

There’s a lot of scam going on and price gouging, and I am very sensitive to that. We are reading about it—people putting in money, in purchase orders, and then nothing happens at the end. Both of us have said, ‘that’s not us.’ We have credentials, we’ve delivered product, and that is key. We are doing what we can.

This is something unprecedented in my lifetime—in all of our lifetimes—this is completely uncharted territory for all of us, for the country and for the world. I am just trying to do my little bit. If I can get supplies out there to hospitals and institutions that otherwise wouldn’t have them, then I’m doing my little bit.”