New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has dispatched the team jet to Shenzhen, China, to secure 1.2 million N95 medical masks for United States health workers to safely combat COVID-19.
The Patriots' Boeing 767 departed China around 4 a.m. Wednesday carrying 1.2 million masks. According to the Wall Street Journal, the plane was only allowed to be on the ground in China for three hours. It took 2 hours and 57 minutes to load the cargo.
The plane is expected to land at Boston Logan International Airport on Thursday.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he is grateful for Kraft's negotiating prowess and support of the fight against coronavirus.
Kraft said he was honored 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," he said.
🔦 The order called for 1.7 million masks, but only 1.2 million could fit into the plane, which had to be updated to transport cargo rather than people. The remaining half a million will be shipped to the U.S. shortly.