Robert Kraft was trending on Twitter this morning and it wasn’t due to another massage parlor scandal. Instead, news broke that the New England Patriots owner and his family paid $2 million to acquire and transport 1.2 million N95 masks from China to the United States.Kraft initially ordered 1.7 million masks, but only 1.2 million could fit on the team plane. The additional masks will be delivered in another shipment, according to the Wall Street Journal
In order to transport the masks, the Patriots’ plane had to be upgraded for international travel and needed a waiver granted to avoid a 14-day quarantine in China. The crew was not permitted to leave the plane, the Journal reported.
“I’ve never seen so much red tape in so many ways and obstacles that we had to overcome,” Kraft said. “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.
N95 masks are currently hard to come by, forcing healthcare professionals to use typical surgical masks, rather than the much-needed personal protective equipment which better protects healthcare workers and patients from contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“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,” Kraft said in a statement.
The Kraft family worked with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to turn this plan into a reality.
Baker took to Twitter to express his gratitude.
Some 300,000 masks will go to New York state, which is a hotspot for COVID-19 and has the most cases in the country with more than 92,000 cases as of 6 p.m. ET on April 2.
The Massachusetts National Guard will transport the masks to a stockpile in Marlborough, Massachusetts when the plane arrives in Boston.
“I truly hope that in doing (this), we can in some way inspire others to find creative ways to give more in support of our doctors, nurses and first responders,” Kraft said. “It’s nice to care for those who provide such compassionate care for us.”
Photo: (Twitter/Governor Charlie Baker)