In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the New England Patriots are doing their best to assist the United States. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Pats’ team plane is being used to transport 1.2 million N95 masks from Shenzhen, China to the United States. The transfer of masks was facilitated by Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker. After global negotiations, he reached out to Patriots president Jonathan Kraft to provide some assistance to bring the masks to the United States.
There was plenty of red tape to go through considering that the spread of the COVID-19 virus has been so rapid. The Patriots plane had to be tweaked for international travel and nobody could leave the plane upon the its arrival in China. If they did, they would’ve been subject to a 14-day quarantine, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The order was officially for 1.7 million N95 masks, but only 1.2 million of them could fit on the plane. The Wall Street Journal reports that the remaining masks will be delivered in another shipment. In terms of dispersement, 300,000 of the masks will head to New York state, which has more than 83,000 positive cases. The Kraft family spent $2 million on the masks, which is about half of the cost.
The plane was only on the ground in China for three hours and will land at Boston’s Logan International Airport on Thursday. According to Politico, the Massachusetts National Guard is expected to transport the masks to a central location in Marlborough, Mass.
“It is an honor for our family to be a part of this humanitarian mission,” Robert Kraft said in a statement. “We knew that purchasing greatly-needed N95 masks and providing the Patriots plane to expedite their delivery to local hospitals would immediately help protect our courageous healthcare professionals. Multiple organizations across the public and private sectors, all of which were in lockstep with Governor Charlie Baker’s visionary leadership, worked together to execute this mission with the purpose of helping save lives.
“I truly hope that in doing so, we can in some way inspire others to find creative ways to give more in support of our doctors, nurses and first responders. It’s nice to care for those who provide such compassionate care for us.”