Knicks, Nets, NBA help donate 1 million surgical masks to NYC

NEW YORK -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and the NBA, in collaboration with Huang Ping, China's consul general have collaborated to donate one million surgical masks to be distributed to New York City's essential workers.

In addition to the masks, Nets owner Joe Tsai and his wife, Clara Wu Tsai, are donating 1,000 ventilators to bolster resources during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo said that the ventilators, whose delivery is being facilitated by the Chinese government, will arrive at JFK International Airport on Saturday.

"This is a big deal and it's going to make a significant difference for us," Cuomo said.

The NBA and WNBA, in addition to players and teams, have committed $50 million to coronavirus-related relief efforts.

Two days before Saturday's donation, Cuomo announced that New York's stockpile of ventilators was projected to last only six days. And New York officials have said the state has yet to reach the peak of the virus.

The Alibaba Group, of which Tsai is the co-founder and executive vice chairman, had already donated one million surgical masks and 500,000 testing kits to New York.

"The whole Alibaba Group has really been helping with all the New York City hospitals, sourcing these certified and high quality PPEs," Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters on a conference call Wednesday morning. "I know they are having conversations with all these government agencies. We all know that he is behind this. He is the silent partner in the background, which speaks tremendously for the leadership that we have."

As of Saturday morning, New York had reported more than 113,700 cases of COVID-19 and more than 3,000 deaths. According to John Hopkins University, there are more than 300,000 COVID-19 cases in the United States and more than 8,100 deaths.