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Flying Into Boston, a 'Remarkable Delivery'

Robert Kraft sent New England Patriots plane to China to pick up 1.2M N95 masks
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2020 12:51 PM CDT

(Newser) – Massachusetts just saw its largest one-day spike in coronavirus cases yet: more than 1,000 reports on Wednesday, bringing the state's total to over 7,700, with more than 120 dead, per Politico. With an expected surge of cases expected in the state in mid-April, Gov. Charlie Baker has now put out a call pleading for personal protective equipment, or PPE, for health care workers—from face masks and gowns to disinfecting wipes—and New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft has just partially answered that call. The Wall Street Journal reports on a "remarkable delivery" due in to Boston's Logan Airport Thursday, when the NFL team's private plane is set to land after a flight from Shenzhen, China, with 1.2 million N95 masks on board. The masks were made by various manufacturers scattered around China.

Kraft and his family not only arranged for the plane and took care of other details, but also ponied up $2 million, which will pay for about half the costs of the masks. Even New York will reap some benefit from this gesture: Because Kraft has been inspired by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's efforts in that state, he and Baker are planning to send 300,000 of the masks to New York. Baker offered his gratitude to Kraft online Thursday, per Sports Illustrated. "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 governor tweeted. More here on the logistical challenges in getting the masks here and how Kraft became involved in the first place; the link between Kraft and Baker is Kraft's son Jonathan, who's a longtime friend of the governor. (Read more Robert Kraft stories.)

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