Patriots Plane Brings Protective Equipment To Massachusetts

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The New England Patriots plane delivered much-needed medical equipment to Massachusetts from China.

The plane was filled with 1.2 million N95 masks, as was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft, and his son Jonathon, were integral in getting the masks from China, a task that was filled with many logistical challenges. Robert Kraft told the Wall Street Journal that he'd "never seen so much red tape in so many ways and obstacles we had to overcome."

The aircraft was only allowed to be in China for 3 hours. The crew managed the load the plane with just 3 minutes to spare. The Kraft family also agreed to pay $2 million for the masks, which is about half of what they cost.

Andrew Beaton, the sports reporter behind the WSJ article, spoke with WBZ NewsRadio's Nichole Davis about the impact of the article.

"Once we heard that it was happening, it was just the type of thing where we wanted to call as many people as possible to really understand what it took to pull this off," Beaton said. "So many people had to be involved, and there are people who couldn't even be mentioned in this story."

Beaton says these figures include lawyers, middlemen who worked with the Krafts, Chinese officials, and members of Tencent in China.

He says this story goes beyond this one effort.

"This also just paints a broader picture into the struggle that this entire country is facing with the resources that are mentioned in this story," Beaton said. "The reason that this story is filled with so much tension and anxiety is that we know states across the country are going through the same scramble."

According to the article, "despite [Kraft's] franchise’s historical acrimony with the New York Jets" 300,000 of the masks will be sent to New York.

"It really took this kind of crazy amount of cooperation," Beaton said. "[Kraft] was pointing out, this can be public and private, this can be Democratic and Republican."

The plane is set to land Thursday evening.

Listen to WBZ NewsRadio's Nichole Davis (@NicholeDWBZ) interview with WSJ reporter Andrew Beaton:

Gov. Charlie Baker was involved in acquiring the equipment from China. In recent weeks, he has been working to bring more medical equipment to Massachusetts to help protect health care workers on the front lines of fight against coronavirus.

"Huge thanks to the Krafts and several dedicated partners for this happen," Baker wrote on Twitter.

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