Joe Tsai, the billionaire owner of the Brooklyn Nets and co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has donated thousands of ventilators and face masks to New York hospitals to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tsai, along with his wife Clara, teamed up with the Chinese government and donated 2.6 million surgical masks, 170,000 goggles, and 2,000 ventilators to hospitals in New York City, according to Fox News.
Although the exact costs were not disclosed, a source told the New York Post that the donations added up to roughly $7 million.
In addition, the NBA teamed up with the Nets and the New York Knicks to donate a shipment of surgical masks for essential workers.
New York thanks you.
We are beyond grateful for this gift of critically needed PPE.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 4, 2020
The donations arrived in two shipments: the first one at Newark Airport on Thursday and the second one at JFK on Saturday.
The first shipment contained 300,000 surgical masks, 70,000 goggles and 1,000 ventilators, all distributed by the Tsais and the Greater New York Hospital Association. The second shipment on Sunday contained 1 million surgical masks, 1.3 million KN95 masks, 100,000 medical goggles and another 1,000 ventilators.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo thanked the Tsais and those involved in the donations during a briefing on Saturday.
“The Chinese government is going to facilitate a donation of [2,000] ventilators that will come into JFK today. And I want to thank Joe Tsai and Clara Tsai and Jack Ma from Alibaba, and the Nets — but I’m not stating a preference — for their donation,” Cuomo said. “That’s going to be very helpful. And I want to thank [China’s consul general Huang Ping] very much for his help in making all of this happen, because this is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us.”
“We kept hearing cries for (personal protective equipment) from our community and wanted to help,” Clara Tsai told CNN. The state will allocate the second shipment but “it’s our intention to help the most underserved institutions.”
The U.S. currently has the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at 338,995, according to Johns Hopkins University. New York City has over 123,160 confirmed cases and 3,048 deaths.
Meanwhile, the total amount of global confirmed cases of COVID-19 has now reached more than 1.2 million.