Patriots retrieve more than a million N95 masks from China

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In these trying times, the New England Patriots are living up to their nickname.

As first reported by Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, the Patriots sent one of their planes to China to retrieve 1.2 million N95 masks from China for use by American health-care workers.

Per the report, the operations required patience and precision. Once the Patriots obtained permission to land in China, the plane was permitted to be on the ground there for at most three hours. With three minutes to spare, the masks were loaded into the Boeing 767 painted in teams colors and adorned with the message “6X Champions.”

The plane initially went to Alaska where it awaited final approval to retrieve the masks from China. The plane is due to land in Boston on Thursday afternoon.

“I’ve never seen so much red tape in so many ways and obstacles that we had to overcome,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft told Beaton. “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.”

The effort started with Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker striking a deal to purchase more than a million N95 masks from various Chinese manufacturers. Baker said to Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, “I just have to get them here.”

Jonathan Kraft’s separate role as chairman of the board of Massachusetts General Hospital helped connect the dots and result in the Patriots lending their plane for the mission to retrieve the masks.

Amazingly, it worked. And it worked without any requirement that the pilots quarantine themselves for 14 days before leaving China, as long as they didn’t leave the plane.

So the 1.2 million masks are on their way, with another 500,000 to be delivered through other means. Robert Kraft suggested that 300,000 of the masks be sent to New York, because Kraft “has been moved by the leadership of Gov. Andrew Cuomo” during this ordeal. Kraft previously donated 100,000 masks to New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

“It is an honor for our family to be a part of this humanitarian mission,” Robert Kraft said in a statement issued by the Patriots. “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. Multiple organizations across the public and private sectors, all of which were in lockstep with Governor Charlie Baker’s visionary leadership, worked together to execute this mission with the purpose of helping save lives. I truly hope that in doing so, we can in some way inspire others to find creative ways to give more in support of our doctors, nurses and first responders. It’s nice to care for those who provide such compassionate care for us.”

And that’s the broader message from this gesture. The Krafts and the Patriots hope that their gestures will provide inspiration for others to do more to help in their own way, especially those who have the financial means and assets to give generously and help in creative ways.

If you’d like to make a donation to the efforts being coordinated by the Patriots Foundation, you can do so here. For the rest of the month, 100 percent of all donations to the Patriots Foundation will be used to purchase additional PPEs and other medical supplies.

51 responses to “Patriots retrieve more than a million N95 masks from China

  1. Sometimes rooting for/against teams can be quite divisive, especially when it’s the Patriots, but it’s hard to bash the efforts made here by Kraft, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Patriots organization on this one. Thank you!

  2. That is awesome. Good to see someone using their position to do some good, when they didn’t have to.

  3. That choked me up. Not even a Pats fan, but this is great. Every team should be trying to do the same for their own cities.

  4. As everyone knows, I’m not a fan of the Patriots.
    But the fact that they were able to obtain these n95 masks, I have to admit that they earned my respect.

    Thank you.

  5. Now if they want to be efficient, a C-5 Galaxy can hold tons of masks, probably 20 or 30 times the amount that the Patriots plane did. Great job Mr Kraft and Gov Baker. Now lets get a galaxy there and have them roll on tons of them. If a galaxy can hold multiple tanks, then it can hold alot of boxes of masks.

  6. I’ve never been a fan of the team, but this is a highly commendable effort by the Patriots organization that deserves recognition. Actions like this should serve as an inspiration for how we all should act in this time of uncertainty.

    Thanks to Mr. Kraft for making this happen.

  7. Great move by the Pats. Stephon Marbury also brought 10 million masks back from China to NYC.

    Shame we have to rely on other countries to produce this stuff because the administration would rather risk lives and fall on its proverbial sword than exercise the Defense Production Act, but it’s great that people out there with the wherewithal are acting accordingly. Thanks, Pats!

  8. Im not a Patiots fan…

    And love this move…

    my only question is… why in the blue blazes of Hell did an NFL team have to come.up with this type of thing ???

  9. Massachusetts does not own a C5 Galaxy though. There are actually not a lot of parties that even own a 707 that they have sitting around doing nothing right now. Baker got lucky there was someone in his state that did, and that cared enough to use it.

    Also, the number of masks purchased was driven by availability, not plane capacity.

  10. Great move! Not sure how they did what they did but flying a company plane to help the rest of us is noteworthy! I am so not a Patriots fan but in this situation, we are Americans first and we pull together to support those who make things happy. Those that stand in our way are the enemies that we shall deal with afterwards.

    Thank you, Mr. Kraft!

  11. Terrific work! Thank you to efforts by Kraft, the Pats organization, Governors Baker and Cuomo. Hope more innovators follow this path.

  12. Great move by an organization a lot of us cannot stand. But this is bigger than football and we commend you!

    Well done Patriots!

  13. Good for the Patriots. If they keep this up, I may be forced to start liking them a little bit.

    On a side note, I hope those masks are up to standard.

  14. merde4brains says:
    April 2, 2020 at 10:40 am
    Communism saves capitalism!

    ————

    Nice try, but without capitalism that deal never materializes.

  15. Good to see others step up when the federal government has failed us in this time of need. Kudos to Gov. Baker, the Krafts and the Pats.

  16. How long before the impeached president takes credit for this action? Over/under at 2.5 days

  17. Can you imagine the backpash if the masks are contaminated and people blame the Patriots?

  18. donttrollonme says:
    April 2, 2020 at 11:44 am
    Where is everyone who was calling this the flu?
    —————
    One of them is in the White House!!!

  19. Anton Chigurh says:
    April 2, 2020 at 11:26 am
    Massachusetts does not own a C5 Galaxy though. There are actually not a lot of parties that even own a 707 that they have sitting around doing nothing right now. Baker got lucky there was someone in his state that did, and that cared enough to use it.

    Also, the number of masks purchased was driven by availability, not plane capacity
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Sorry but that is incorrect. They literally stuffed the plane to it’s capacity, and that was after the plane underwent modifications to convert it from a passenger aircraft into a cargo plane, and that modification happened in Ohio while the plane’s crew secured their expedited visa’s in order to make the trip to China. It also should be noted that the Krafts personally paid $2 Million Dollars which was half the cost of the total $4 Million to purchase the masks.

  20. I lived in China for a very long time. Here’s the deal: the Patriots were the only team for years to have an actual China marketing strategy, including a web site in Mandarin and visits to youth camps, etc. There was even a huge Nike mural of Tom Brady on one of Shanghai’s main shopping blocks, not far from that of Lebron James. Nonetheless, it took a long time for the NFL and football in general to gain much traction, especially after an exhibition game in Beijing was canceled.

    Whenever anything related to government must be done in China, licenses, permits, visas, etc, the red tape can indeed be awful, much worse than in the US, with the responses by clerks & functionaries usually starting with “no” and then moving slowly from there. China in general is run by a (corrupt) system of personal connections and favors that is hard for foreigners to grasp much less be treated fairly within. But foreign enterprises often must stay in good terms with the govt this way. My guess is that someone close to Kraft had generated rapport or “credit” with some key official(s) who managed to shepherd their request through the maze and get approval from a high-ranking person in Beijing. Very hard thing to do. A very admirable gesture by Kraft and the Patriots.

  21. Great work. however I wonder how safe they are. Can you spray them with something before exposing US personnel to them?

  22. Goodell takes away a 3rd round pick from the Patriots for unauthorized use of a team plane.

  23. Even this NY Jets fan is in awe of Kraft and the Patriots organization today. Cheers fellas.

  24. Thank you Mr Kraft but this shows how much the US is beholden to China. It’s time to bring manufacturing back to America.

  25. The previous US administration put a tax on medical devices, so companies went to China and other countries to produce their products cheaper. That’s why we’re in this fix. Remove the extra tax on medical devices and bring manufacturing back to the US.

  26. marima07 says:
    April 2, 2020 at 3:15 pm
    The previous US administration put a tax on medical devices, so companies went to China and other countries to produce their products cheaper. That’s why we’re in this fix. Remove the extra tax on medical devices and bring manufacturing back to the US.

    ***********************************************************************************

    Except the Medical Device Excise Tax was already repealed, so it’s kind of hard to blame that one at this point.

  27. camstinks says:
    April 2, 2020 at 1:43 pm
    Anton Chigurh says:
    April 2, 2020 at 11:26 am
    Massachusetts does not own a C5 Galaxy though. There are actually not a lot of parties that even own a 707 that they have sitting around doing nothing right now. Baker got lucky there was someone in his state that did, and that cared enough to use it.

    Also, the number of masks purchased was driven by availability, not plane capacity
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Sorry but that is incorrect. They literally stuffed the plane to it’s capacity, and that was after the plane underwent modifications to convert it from a passenger aircraft into a cargo plane, and that modification happened in Ohio while the plane’s crew secured their expedited visa’s in order to make the trip to China. It also should be noted that the Krafts personally paid $2 Million Dollars which was half the cost of the total $4 Million to purchase the masks.

    —————————————
    The size of the purchase was limited by availability. If Baker could have gotten more he would have. They did not worry about the purchase exceeding aircraft capacity because they knew they could get a decent chunk of them home quickly and could arrange for the rest.

    Where I was wrong was when I said it was a 707. Its a 767. I cant believe some plane buff in here didn’t call me out.

  28. in a vicious irony, we have to pay for our own masks made in our own factories overseas because labour is dirt cheap there and has no unions;

    normally we go into places like Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Philippines and the far West, suck out everything of economic value and leave them to borrow from our banks to keep their economy afloat;

    it would seem we are about to witness the greatest redistribution of wealth in human history;

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