New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arranged for the team plane to transport 1.2 million masks from China to Massachusetts, where one of the largest outbreaks of the coronavirus has been met with a shortfall of personal protection equipment.
Multiple outlets reported more than 300,000 of the masks will be sent to the hard-hit state of New York.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who said his bidding for masks in the United States had been met with rival bids from other states and the federal government, negotiated with the support of Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“I’ve never seen so much red tape in so many ways and obstacles that we had to overcome,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said, according to the Journal. “In today’s world, those of us who are fortunate to make a difference have a significant responsibility to do so with all the assets we have available to us.”
The Kraft family paid $2 million, or half of the cost, for the masks. More than 1.7 masks were ordered, but 500,000 of those could not fit on the plane. They will be sent in a later shipment.
No days off. Thanks to some serious teamwork, Massachusetts is set to receive over 1 million N95 masks for our front-line workers. Huge thanks to the Krafts and several dedicated partners for making this happen. pic.twitter.com/ieV6XMC5Ow
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) April 2, 2020
“No days off,” Baker wrote via Twitter with a photo of the Patriots team plane being loaded. “Thanks to some serious teamwork, Massachusetts is set to receive over 1 million N95 masks for our front-line workers. Huge thanks to the Krafts and several dedicated partners for making this happen.”
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)