(TMU) — Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba and the richest man in Asia, promised last week to donate 500,000 CoViD-19 test kits and one million face masks to the U.S., and now he has posted an update to Twitter showing photos of the first shipment before it left from Shanghai.
The first shipment of masks and coronavirus test kits to the US is taking off from Shanghai. All the best to our friends in America. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/LTn26gvlOl
— Jack Ma (@JackMa) March 16, 2020
In a statement to the press last week, Ma said that it was important for medical professionals to have all of the necessary supplies to fight the virus.
“Drawing from my own country’s experience, speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus. We hope that our donation can help Americans fight against the pandemic!” the statement read.
Through a donation of 500,000 testing kits and 1 million masks, we join hands with Americans in these difficult times. pic.twitter.com/tGviVhC6Gx
— Jack Ma Foundation (@foundation_ma) March 13, 2020
The statement also noted that Ma’s foundation donated supplies to other afflicted areas in Japan, Korea, Italy, Iran, and Spain.
“The crisis presents a huge challenge to all humankind in a globalized world. The pandemic we face today can no longer be resolved by any individual country. Rather, we need to combat the virus by working hand-in-hand. At this moment, we can’t beat this virus unless we eliminate boundaries to resources and share our know-how and hard-earned lessons,” Ma said in the statement.
However, it is not entirely clear who exactly these supplies will be sent to or how they will be distributed.
In January, as outbreaks of the illness were exploding across China, Ma donated $14.5 million towards a coronavirus vaccine and has promised to continue helping with the response to the pandemic.
The official number of cases in the U.S. is just over 4,600, but some experts and health officials believe that there are already hundreds of thousands of cases. Dr. Marty Makary, a medical professor at Johns Hopkins University, estimates that there could be up to a half-million cases in the U.S.