FOXBORO (CBS) – A New England Patriots truck filled with 300,000 N95 masks arrived in New York City late Friday morning to help with the coronavirus crisis there.
The Patriots brought back 1.2 million of the masks on the team jet Thursday from China as part of a joint effort with Governor Charlie Baker to get them to health care workers in Massachusetts, where the supply is critically low.
The Kraft family paid half of the $4 million bill to get 1.7 million masks for the Commonwealth. The other half-million will be shipped to Massachusetts next week.
“This is the greatest country in the world. It’s time for us to rally together and solve these kinds of issues,” Robert Kraft said during an interview on CNN.
Kraft and Baker also agreed to send 300,000 of the masks to the Javits Center in Manhattan to help with the coronavirus outbreak and medical supply shortage there.
“Give them to the city of New York just to try to bring them some hope and goodwill,” Robert Kraft said.
The truck left Gillette Stadium early Friday morning and had a special escort from the Massachusetts State Police.
“This probably was the most challenging operation our organization has ever had to do,” Robert Kraft said.
Wall Street Journal reporter Andrew Beaton, who chronicled the effort to make the donation happen, called it a “really crazy interconnected web.”
Beaton said the mission was very complicated, with many hurdles involved.
“They weren’t really ever convinced it was gonna be a success until it crossed back into the United States,” he said.