The NFL is in its off-season, but the New England Patriots are helping fight the coronavirus pandemic where they can. The football team's plane delivered more than 1 million N95 masks to Massachusetts from Shenzhen, China, on Thursday.
As the plane was being unloaded, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker got emotional; he thanked Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the team's president, Jonathan Kraft, for their help. Jonathan Kraft is also the chairman of the board at Massachusetts General Hospital.
"Jonathan, honestly, we can't thank you and your dad and your family enough for answering the call and helping make this happen. And for the many, many dedicated front line workers across this state that are battling COVID-19 on behalf of the people of Massachusetts every single day, this gear will make an enormous difference," he said.
The Wall Street Journal reports Baker reached out to Robert Kraft because the governor was unable to get masks to Massachusetts by other means. Robert Kraft and the state paid $2 million for 1.7 million masks, which Baker says will go to health care workers fighting the coronavirus.
Only 1.2 million masks fit on the plane, so the rest will arrive separately. Robert Kraft is also sending 300,000 of those masks to New York, which has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.
Robert Kraft said: "In today's world, those of us who are fortunate to make a difference have a significant responsibility to do so with all the assets we have available to us." He also said, "It is an honor for our family to be a part of this humanitarian mission" to "help protect our courageous healthcare professionals."