New England Patriots Use Team Plane To Fly In 1.2 Million Protective Masks
By Bill Galluccio
April 2, 2020
Hospital workers in Massachusetts are about to get a new supply of N95 protective masks after the New England Patriots used their team jet to fly in more than one million masks in from China. Nurses and doctors across the country have been struggling to maintain their supplies of personal protective equipment as they deal with an influx of patients due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft worked with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to secure 1.7 million masks from China. They could only fit 1.2 million masks on the plane, so the rest are being delivered in another shipment. While most of the masks will be distributed to health facilities in the state, around 300,000 will be sent to New York.
Governor Baker shared a photo on Twitter of workers unloading the pallets of masks from the Patriots team jet.
"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."
Kraft told the Wall Street Journal that getting the masks wasn't easy due to red tape from the government. The plane needed to be upgraded for international travel, and the crew needed to obtain a waiver to avoid a 14-day quarantine since they were flying to China.
"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."
To keep up to date on the latest news about the coronavirus and to understand what you need to stay safe and healthy, check out the Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction podcast from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.