With the number of cases of COVID-19 in the United States of America increasing every day, the nation is experiencing a shortage of medical equipment. One of the most important protective equipment for healthcare workers are the N95 masks. It certainly is necessary to guard the health of medical professionals and health workers who are fighting to confine the spread of this virus and caring for those affected already.
As a response to this shortage, the Governor of Massachusetts managed to strike a deal to source masks from China. However, there was a problem here – how to get them to America?
This is when the New England Patriots’ team’s private plane came to rescue. This team plane, which is adorned with their logo – a gargantuan “6X” – and the Lombardi trophies, brought home more than a million masks to support the USA’s fight against COVID-19.
How the masks were brought home
Charlie Baker, the Massachusetts Governor, managed to strike a deal with some Chinese manufacturers to get access to more than one million masks for the country. However, he needed to bring them from China to Massachusetts as early as possible due to the high demand and requirement. To facilitate this, Baker contacted Jonathan Kraft, the son of Robert Kraft, who owns the American football team Patriots. Kraft offered his plane into service and also offered to pay $2 million or half the cost of these 1.7 million masks.
However, there were still some logistical problems. This plane of Patriots’ is a Boeing 767, which is a passenger plane that is unfit for carrying cargo. It was also meant for shorter trips to just Seattle or Los Angeles and anything more than that would require some enhancements and modifications.
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
While the modifications were being made to the plane, the government had something else to take care of: it had to arrange for the visas for all their crew who would be on the plane. The crew would be allowed to stay on the Chinese grounds for not more than three hours. So, the crew visited the nearest pharmacy in Wilmington, Ohio to get photos for their visa. After this process, they flew to Alaska to prepare themselves for this trip to China.
While they prepared in Alaska, the Chinese company Tencent’s crew made sure to collect, inspect, and count the number of masks to be sent. The Patriot’s plane landed in China on the morning on 1st April and the crew loaded up around 1.2 million masks.
Once loaded, these masks were flown to Boston. 300,000 out of these were ordered to be sent to New York by Robert Kraft to help the healthcare workers in the worst-hit city in the United States.
Wasn’t this was an amazing service done by the Patriots’ owners in these dark times?
We wish for a speedy recovery of the world from COVID-19, and with such amazing people at work, what can go wrong?
Together, we can get through this pandemic! Till then, stay safe, and stay indoors.1