In the life-and-death fight against the coronavirus pandemic, New York got another huge assist from the Nets and owner Joe Tsai. And Governor Andrew Cuomo thanked them Saturday for a huge shipment of expensive medical supplies, which he called a big deal.
The Nets, Knicks and NBA later partnered to add a shipment of surgical masks.
Cuomo told the media the Chinese government will facilitate a huge shipment of ventilators, which are both hard to find and much-needed in the fight against COVID-19. Tsai was at the heart of it, along with his wife, Clara Wu Tsai.
And as it turns out, the shipment was far bigger than even Cuomo had let on. The Tsais actually donated 2.6 million surgical masks, 170,000 goggles and 2,000 ventilators to New York. The total cost of the donation is estimated to be roughly $7 million, a source told the Post.
“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 told reporters. “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.”
The supplies were split into two shipments, the first of which arrived Thursday at Newark Airport. The second arrived Saturday at JFK.
“We kept hearing cries for [personal protective equipment] from our community and wanted to help,” Clara told CNN. She added that the state will allocate Saturday’s shipment, and they plan to “help the most underserved institutions,” including Elmhurst Hospital, Jacobi Medical Center and Lincoln Medical Center.
The cost of ventilators has skyrocketed along with the need, making the donation priceless in terms of lives saved. Cuomo said New York never received the 17,000 ventilators it had ordered and isn’t ready for the coronavirus apex about to hit.
While Cuomo had been politic in not showing favoritism toward the Nets, the Knicks teamed with the Nets and NBA to donate masks for essential workers.
“NEW: The @NBA is contributing 1 million desperately needed surgical masks for New York’s essential workers in collaboration with @nyknicks, @BrooklynNets and China’s Consul General Huang Ping,” Cuomo tweeted. “New York thanks you. We are beyond grateful for this gift of critically needed PPE.”
As of Saturday morning, New York state already had more than 113,000 coronavirus cases and more than 3,500 deaths.
The Tsais worked with the Greater New York Hospital Association to distribute Thursday’s first shipment, which allocated 300,000 surgical masks and 70,000 medical goggles, and 1,000 ventilators to the Mount Sinai hospital system.
Saturday’s shipment contained 1 million surgical masks, 1.3 million KN95 masks, 100,000 medical goggles another 1,000 ventilators.