MARLBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The question that was spiraling around Rhode Island on Thursday has finally been answered.
According to Rhode Island State Police Col. James Manni, Rhode Island is getting 100,000 of the N95 masks the Patriots plane picked up from China.
Manni says the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency is going to Marlboro on Friday to pick up the masks.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft sent the “Air Kraft” plane to China to pick up “much-needed personal protective equipment” for the state — Massachusetts is one of several states desperate for supplies.
The plane arrived at Boston Logan Airport around 6 p.m. Thursday evening
Gov. Charlie Baker made agreements with several Chinese manufacturers two weeks ago but had no way of getting them here, so he turned to Jonathan Kraft, the son of Robert Kraft, President of the Patriots and Chair of the Board at Massachusetts General Hospital.
According to a release, the Kraft family partnered with Baker to purchase 1.4 million N95 masks to replenish the inventory of PPE at hospitals throughout Massachusetts.
“Jonathan, honestly, we can’t thank you and your dad and your family enough for answering the call and helping make this happen,” Baker emotionally said.
On CNN Thursday night, Robert Kraft explained 300,000 of the masks are going to New York as the state has an important role in his life.
“I spoke to our governor and he said we’re bringing them back and he’d love to help Governor Cuomo,” he said. “I love it, a Republican governor and Democratic governor, putting the country first. and we agreed to buy them and give them to the people of the City of New York just to bring some hope and goodwill.”
The shipment will be leaving for New York Friday morning and be escorted by Rhode Island State Police, Massachusetts State Police and Connecticut State Police cruisers the entire way from Gillette Stadium.
Only 1.2 million masks could fit on the Patriots plane so the rest of the masks will be sent to Boston in the next few days.