Face Masks Donated by Patriots Weren’t Hospital Grade, Kind Gesture Feels a Bit Deflated

Everyone cheered when New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced that he was donating 300,000 face masks to the health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic efforts in Boston. But shortly after the team’s festively painted Boeing 767 touched down at Logan Airport, recipients of the donation felt, well, a little deflated. In addition to N95 face masks, which are hailed as the gold standard in fighting COVID-19 transmission, the shipment included KN95 masks, which are…wait for it…regulated by the Chinese government and are not approved by the U.S.’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

But just as with Deflategate, people did some fancy footwork to put a positive spin on the disappointing delivery. “All those masks are FDA-approved, all of them were inspected,” Gov. Charlie Baker declared during a press conference on Monday. He assured the public that hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care providers would be receiving the masks. And yet, a physician and officials at Massachusetts General Hospital told the Globe that they were not, in fact, using the donated KN95 masks, citing concerns that they are not as effective as N95 masks in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

It was a nice gesture, Patriots, but the truly patriotic thing would be to play fair, especially during a pandemic. Maybe you have some Super Bowl winnings left over that you could throw at the problem instead?

Cover Photo: Boston Globe / Contributor (Getty Images)

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