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Patriots' Team Plane Transports 1.2 Million N95 Masks from China to U.S.

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N95 masks are being worn by doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers on the frontlines of the fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic. But there's a shortage of these masks in the U.S.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the New England Patriots team is contributing to the essential effort of sourcing masks.

Thanks to an agreement between Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker and Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft, the Patriots' team plane flew 1.2 million N95 masks from China to Massachusetts on Thursday.

This act of kindness wasn't without hurdles. The plane had to be cleared for international travel. A waiver was signed which agreed that the plane crew wouldn't have to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon return to the U.S. as long as they never left the aircraft.

Why 1.2 million masks? The order, which cost the Kraft fmaily $2 million, was for 1.7 million masks, but when loading the Patriots plane, only 1.2 million could fit. The remainder will be sent in another shipment.

Hospitals across the U.S. are reporting shortages of N95 masks. Doctors are wearing a single mask for 12+ hour shifts so as not to move through dwindling supplies too quickly. 

Home Depot  (HD)  has called on all of its stores in North America to stop selling the masks so that healthcare workers can get first dibs on them. 

Gov. Baker tweeted a thank you to the Patriots: "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."

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