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Patriots owner Robert Kraft sends 300,000 N95 masks to New York with a team truck

For perhaps the first time in history, the Patriots logo is a welcome site in New York on Friday, as 300,000 N95 medical masks have been shipped to health workers by team truck after owner Robert Kraft flew 1.2 million masks from China to address shortages in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The masks are scarce during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as states, along with the federal government, seek to outbid each other for much needed medical supplies.

On Thursday the Wall Street Journal first reported the shipment, which was flown in Shenzen, China and cost Kraft and the state of Massachusetts approximately $ 2 million each. Originally, they ordered 1.7 million masks, but only 1.2 million could fit on the plane, which was clearly built for passenger use and not for shipping. The remaining masks come in a second shipment, according to the Journal.

Kraft’s purchase of 300,000 masks for New York was a separate transaction, a spokesperson told the Daily Mail. However, those masks were included in the shipment that arrived in Massachusetts on Friday and have since been shipped to New York.

New York Governor Mario Cuomo and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker have complained that states are outbidding each other for N95 masks and other medical equipment, resulting in higher prices and shorter inventories

Robert Kraft, owner of New England Patriots, sends 300,000 N95 masks to New York

Robert Kraft, owner of New England Patriots, sends 300,000 N95 masks to New York

Robert Kraft, owner of New England Patriots, sends 300,000 N95 masks to New York. New York Governor Mario Cuomo and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker have complained that states should outbid each other for N95 masks and other medical equipment, resulting in higher prices and shorter inventories

Accompanied by state police, a Patriots team team car delivered approximately 900,000 masks to a strategic reserve 30 miles west of Boston, before driving another 100,000 masks to Rhode Island.

With state police escorts, a Patriots team truck delivered approximately 900,000 masks to a strategic reserve 30 miles west of Boston, before driving another 100,000 masks to Rhode Island

Accompanied by state police, a Patriots team team car delivered approximately 900,000 masks to a strategic reserve 30 miles west of Boston, before driving another 100,000 masks to Rhode Island.

“We agreed to buy them and give them to the people of New York City just to create some hope and good will and let people know we’re trying to put it all together,” said Kraft CNN.

“I had been watching governor [Andrew] Cuomo for the past few weeks and I just think he did an excellent job, ”said Kraft. He is at the epicenter of this crisis and has a calming way around him. He brings confidence.

“And I have a personal connection to New York City; Columbia was good to me and gave me a full scholarship as a child. I like the city. I like the people there. I don’t think we can imagine anything. ‘

Accompanied by state police, a Patriots team team car delivered approximately 900,000 masks to a strategic reserve 30 miles west of Boston, before driving another 100,000 masks to Rhode Island.

Currently, 100 percent of donations to the Patriots Foundation are being used to purchase medical supplies, which are becoming increasingly difficult to find due to the growing outbreak.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker welcomes a shipment of 1.2 million N95 masks

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker welcomes a shipment of 1.2 million N95 masks

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker welcomes a shipment of 1.2 million N95 masks

A New England Patriots Boeing 767-300 jet with a cargo of over a million N95 masks from China, which will be used in Boston and New York to combat the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), arrives at Logan Airport, Boston, Massachusetts

A New England Patriots Boeing 767-300 jet with a shipment of over a million N95 masks from China to be used in Boston and New York to combat the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) arrives at Logan Airport, Boston, Massachusetts

A New England Patriots Boeing 767-300 jet with a shipment of over a million N95 masks from China to be used in Boston and New York to combat the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) arrives at Logan Airport, Boston, Massachusetts

Cuomo and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker have complained that states are being forced to outbid each other for N95 masks and other medical equipment, resulting in higher prices and shorter supplies.

Kraft had an equally frustrating time getting the masks to the US.

“I’ve never seen so much red tape in so many ways and obstacles we had to overcome,” Kraft said according to the Journal. “In today’s world, those of us who are lucky enough to make a difference have an important responsibility to do so by whatever means we have at our disposal.”

The Patriots’ plane was reportedly limited to just three hours on the ground in Shenzen and took three-three minutes to load the masks for the return flight.

As described in the Journal’s paper, efforts began weeks earlier when Baker and his staff tracked down the necessary N95 manufacturers in China. The problem was that they were shipped from Shenzen during the global pandemic and subsequent shipping rules.

The National Guard helped facilitate the shipment, which was sent in from Shenzen, China

The National Guard helped facilitate the shipment, which was sent in from Shenzen, China

The National Guard helped facilitate the shipment, which was sent in from Shenzen, China

There was even a chance that a potential flight crew could be quarantined in China, where the COVID-19 outbreak began.

“I just have to get them here,” he reportedly told Kraft’s son, Jonathan, who is president of the patriots and chairman of the board of Massachusetts General Hospital.

It was Jonathan Kraft who suggested using one of the team’s two planes.

Robert Kraft, the United States Department of State, and Baker all followed with letters to the Chinese Adviser General in New York to obtain the special permits, apply for waivers, and explain that each member of the crew would remain on board while the plane was loaded.

Robert Kraft's son Jonathan (left), the Patriots president and a board member of Massachusetts General Hospital, suggested using one of the team planes for the masks

Robert Kraft's son Jonathan (left), the Patriots president and a board member of Massachusetts General Hospital, suggested using one of the team planes for the masks

Robert Kraft’s son Jonathan (left), the Patriots president and a board member of Massachusetts General Hospital, suggested using one of the team planes for the masks

After an avionics upgrade in Wilmington, Ohio on Friday night, the crew quickly struggled to get visas by taking ID photos at a local pharmacy and returning them to the Chinese Consulate that opened its New York office over the weekend to fulfill the request.

The crew only took mandatory rest and downtime and landed in Alaska before heading to Shenzen where there was one more problem: who would load the masks on the plane?

“What we needed,” said Kraft Sports and Entertainment COO JIM Nolan, “were boots on the floor to collect the goods and get them in the right place.”

With the help of intermediaries, the group connected with executives from Tencent, a Chinese technology company, and agreed to send more than 12 people to inspect and assemble the masks. The group continued to monitor part of the shipment at the airport even at night, while manufacturers rushed the rest.

When the order was completed, the Tencent team led the masks through customs and onto the waiting Patriots team plane. The remaining 500,000 masks are monitored by Tencent until the second shipment can be made.

“The Krafts were great,” said Baker at his daily press conference on Thursday. “They were a phone call away and immediately got to work on the logistics involved, and only stopped when they could get it done.”

The Patriots' plane will ship 1.2 million medical masks from China to Boston on Thursday, after team owner Robert Kraft reportedly paid $ 2 million to replenish Massachusetts's dwindling supply during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Kraft will cover half the cost of the much needed N95 masks, which will be flown from Shenzen, China (pictured) to Bosto's Logan Airport, where they will be transported by the National Guard to a strategic stock in Marlboro , Massachusetts

The Patriots' plane will ship 1.2 million medical masks from China to Boston on Thursday, after team owner Robert Kraft reportedly paid $ 2 million to replenish Massachusetts's dwindling supply during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Kraft will cover half the cost of much needed N95 masks, which will be flown from Shenzen, China (pictured) to Bosto's Logan Airport, where they will be transported by the National Guard to a strategic stock in Marlboro , Massachusetts

The Patriots’ plane will ship 1.2 million medical masks from China to Boston on Thursday, after team owner Robert Kraft reportedly paid $ 2 million to replenish Massachusetts’s dwindling stock during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Kraft will cover half the cost of much needed N95 masks, which will be flown from Shenzen, China (pictured) to Bosto’s Logan Airport, where they will be transported by the National Guard to a strategic stock in Marlboro , Massachusetts

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