Peter Tsai is a brilliant Taiwanese American materials scientist and inventor who is highly known for his large contribution to the creation of the N95 mask. He invented a fabric using electrostatic filtration technology for the masks to work more efficiently, and they are now the masks many people are using daily. To backtrack a little, Tsai attended the National Taipei University of Technology in Taiwan and decided to continue his studies in the United States at Kansas State University. Even when the requirement was only 90 credits, he received over 500 credits there, going above and beyond and demonstrating his passion for learning. He completed his work on the N95 mask in 1992 and had recently retired about two years ago.
However, the surge of COVID-19 and the massive demand for masks has caused him to come out of his retirement and go back to working on how to improve the masks even more. He has been writing articles and participating in interviews in hope that more people will be able to share his knowledge and be more educated themselves.
While the global pandemic continues, the racism and discrimination towards the Asian and Pacific Islander communities have increased amid the virus. People have wrongfully placed the blame of the virus on the Asian community, despite the fact that the virus can affect anyone of any race or ethnicity. Asian Americans are also unfairly targeted for being the cause of the virus and the reason the pandemic is continuing to grow. Peter Tsai is seen as a hero as he continues to help better the technology that will help decrease the spread of COVID-19 while also dealing with all the hate Asians and Asian Americans have been receiving. “Immigrants must work harder and contribute more to society than native-born citizens to gain respect,” he says. “It’s a reality that not everyone must contend with.”