Bob Kraft sends Patriots plane to China, expected to return with over one million masks

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

The private sector comes through again.

Bob Kraft, the New England Patriots owner who has donated millions of dollars to charitable causes, has sent the team plane to China to pick up a massive load of personal protective gear for Massachusetts healthcare workers.

The Boeing 767 reportedly left Shenzhen, China, loaded with 1.2 million medical-grade N95 masks, according to WCVB. Gov. Charlie Baker and the billionaire NFL owner are expected greet the jet on the tarmac at Boston’s Logan Airport late today. About 500,000 more masks are apparently en route in a separate shipment.

Known for his philanthropy along with his six Super Bowl trophies, Bob Kraft is a good friend of President Trump. Baker, often assailed as a Republican in Name Only (RINO), is not a fan of Trump being president, however. Perhaps pandering to voters in the deep blue state, Baker was vocal about refusing to vote for Trump in the November 2016 general election.

Beyond the cost of the flight which Bob Kraft presumably is underwriting, at this point authorities, have not officially revealed whether Kraft himself or the state of Massachusetts is picking up the tab the for the imported N95 masks themselves. According to ESPN, however, the Kraft family paid $2 million for the masks, which represents 50 percent of the actual cost.

More details on the potentially life-saving transaction will undoubtedly be forthcoming.

The Massachusetts National Guard will take charge of the precious cargo and transport it to a strategic stockpile in Marlborough. The plane will reportedly be unloaded under strict conditions by workers in hazmat suits with a three-hour time limit for the aircraft to remain on the ground.

Citing the Patriots’ “no days off” mantra, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said that “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.”

Baker’s COVID-19 command center reportedly brokered the deal with Chinese officials. The governor has reportedly been complaining to Trump that his state lacked sufficient masks and gowns for healthcare workers who were treating coronavirus patients, and that the feds were complicating matters by outbidding the state for necessary gear.

The president and his team have nonetheless worked tirelessly to deploy the otherwise slow-moving federal government bureaucracy along with public-private partnerships to provide resources to the states and localities in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

To date, there are 7,738 individuals infected with the virus in Massachusetts, and 122 have tragically died.

In a statement that praised Baker’s “visionary leadership” and the public and private sector organizations that participated, Bob Kraft said, in part, that “It is an honor for our family to be a part of this humanitarian mission. We knew that purchasing greatly-needed N95 masks and providing the Patriots plane to expedite their delivery to local hospitals would immediately help protect our courageous healthcare professionals.”

The politicized and divisive blame game has already started, unfortunately. Adam Schiff, for example, the obsessed California Democrat who heads the obviously misnamed U.S. House of Representatives “Intelligence” Committee, is pushing for a 911-style investigation into the supposedly slow response of the Trump administration at the outset of the outbreak.

It’s been an “all hands on deck” effort when it comes to mitigating coronavirus with President Trump mobilizing and encouraging the private sector to get involved.

Trump reiterated the federal government’s role Thursday morning, saying massive amounts of medical supplies are being delivered.

 

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