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The NBA, along with the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, donated 1 million surgical masks to New York amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Twitter on Saturday afternoon.
The league also partnered with China’s consul general Huang Ping to make the donation, which will be distributed to essential workers in New York City.
According to ESPN, Nets owner Joe Tsai and his wife are donating 1,000 ventilators to the city, too. Those ventilators are expected to be delivered on Saturday.
“New York thanks you,” Cuomo said. “We are beyond grateful for this gift of critically needed PPE.”
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.
New York thanks you.
We are beyond grateful for this gift of critically needed PPE.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 4, 2020
Surgical masks, ventilators and other personal protective equipment needed to help fight and treat the coronavirus have been running low both in New York and across the country. Cuomo even said earlier this week that New York was going to run out of ventilators in less than seven days despite the city and state not having reached the peak of the outbreak. Officials have now asked every American to wear masks when leaving their homes, too, putting an even greater strain on masks needed for doctors, nurses and other first responders on the front lines. However some — like Kiya Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s wife — have started making their own at home.
New York is the hardest-hit area in the country, and had more than 113,700 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Saturday afternoon, according to The New York Times. The country had more than 300,600 confirmed cases as a whole, too, more than double that of any other country.
The league’s donation marks the latest to the city from the sports world. The New England Patriots sent their team plane to China for 1 million surgical masks earlier this week, and delivered 300,000 of them to New York in their team truck on Friday. Nets general manager Sean Marks said on Wednesday that Tsai and the Alibaba group — which Tsai co-founded — were working to supply more personal protective equipment to New York-area hospitals, too. The group had already donated 1 million masks and 500,000 coronavirus testing kits to the Untied States.
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