BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots team plane made its most important flight ever on Thursday, bringing more than one million medicals masks to the U.S. from China for healthcare workers in the fight against coronavirus. While those masks may have touched down in Massachusetts, 300,000 of them will be going to New York.
At a time like this, there is no Boston-New York rivalry. Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he was eager to help New York City as the virus spreads like wildfire.
“I’ve been watching Governor (Andrew) Cuomo over the last few weeks, and I just think he’s done an outstanding job. He’s at the epicenter of this crisis, and he has a calming way about him and he brings confidence,” Kraft said on a Thursday night interview on CNN. “And I have a personal tie to New York City. Columbia was good to me and gave me a full scholarship as a kid. I love the city, I love the people there. I don’t think what’s going on is something any of us could imagine.
“We agreed to buy the masks and give them to the people of the City of New York just to try to bring some hope and goodwill and let people know we’re trying to bring everything together and generate some good feelings,” Kraft added.
Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker struck a deal with China two weeks ago to acquire the masks, but he had no way of getting them stateside. He turned to his friend, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, and the Kraft family quickly went to work. Robert Kraft and the U.S. State Department made special arrangements to have the Patriots team plane fly to China, pick up the giant shipment of masks, and bring them back to New England. The Kraft family also paid $2 million to cover some of the cost of the masks,
Now 300,000 will head to New York. Kraft has made it clear that it doesn’t matter if you root for the Patriots, Gang Green or Giant Blue. We’re all in this fight together.
“People are looking for good things,” said Kraft. ‘This is the greatest country in the world. It’s time for us to rally together and solve these kinds of issues.”