The coronavirus outbreak is getting closer to reaching its peak in Massachusetts and many other parts of the United States, and the New England Patriots are doing what they can to help fight the pandemic.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft has made the team’s private plane available to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, and the plane is being used to fly 1 million N95 protective masks from China to Boston on Thursday afternoon.
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. pic.twitter.com/ieV6XMC5Ow
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) April 2, 2020
Kraft also bought an additional 300,000 masks with his own money for hospitals in New York.
#Patriots owner Robert Kraft didn’t just help purchase and deliver 1.4 million masks from China for Massachusetts. He also bought 300,000 masks with his own money for New York that will be delivered to the Javits Center tomorrow. He has strong ties to NY, as a @Columbia graduate.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 2, 2020
Not having enough masks and protective equipment for healthcare workers is one of the most significant issues states have faced during the coronavirus outbreak, and Baker has expressed frustration recently that Massachusetts was being outbid by the federal government for supplies. The governor hinted on Wednesday that an announcement would be coming regarding protective equipment.
“We’ve been working on a variety of processes and opportunities to make sure that we have the gear that we need to serve our medical community and our first responders,” Baker said, via Stephanie Murray of Politico. “I’ve also said that I expected to have more information on this later this week, and I do.”
It’s unclear if the Patriots are covering the cost of the masks or if the state of Massachusetts is paying, but either way Kraft and the Patriots are playing an integral role in the process.
This is not the first time the Patriots have generously loaned out their team plane, but it may be the most important use of the aircraft that we have seen to date.