Robert Kraft sent the Patriots jet to China in order to bring back 1.2 million N95 masks to the United States amid protective equipment shortages.
Robert Kraft arranged for over 1 million N95 masks, used by health workers to protect themselves amid increased exposure to coronavirus, to be sent to the United States from China, using the Patriots jet to fly all the supplies back. As the U.S. experiences major shortages of crucial protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, many public figures are using their money and resources to step in and alleviate some of these shortages. Patriots owner Robert Kraft is among these people, as he reportedly negotiated with some folks in power around the world to have tons of N95 masks provided to the U.S. Not only that, but Kraft also used the Patriots private jet to pick up the supplies in Shenzhen, China, and bring them back to the States.
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The plane arrived in Shenzhen on Thursday morning (April 2nd), and could only remain grounded for three hours while suited-up workers loaded the equipment onboard. Although the plane was upgraded to bear the extra cargo, Kraft's initial agreement of 1.7 million masks took up too much space, so the plane ended up only only bringing back the 1.2 million that could fit. Kraft reportedly spent "several million dollars" on the mission, and was thanked by Charlie Baker, the Governor of Massachusetts where the majority of the masks will be sent.
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"No days off," Baker said. "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." The plan is for the MA National Guard to deliver the masks to a central stockpile in Marlborough. Due to critical shortages, 300,000 of the masks will be reportedly be delivered to New York.
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"It is an honour for our family to be a part of this humanitarian mission," said Kraft 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."