(TMU) — New York’s month-long struggle with the coronavirus has left a devastating mark on the state, having already claimed more than 5,589 lives. On Tuesday Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an additional 731 deaths from the disease, the highest daily death toll yet in the hardest-hit U.S. state.
With deaths numbering over 500 every day, it’s more than clear that the Empire State may need all of the help that it can get—especially as the federal government finds its hands full as death rates surge in New Jersey, New Orleans, and other urban centers across the country.
And the need for urgent aid to New York certainly hasn’t been lost on Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai and fellow Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma.
The New York Daily News reports that Taiwanese-Canadian billionaire Tsai and fellow Chinese business magnate Jack Ma have donated a total of 2,000 ventilators to those in need.
Since the coronavirus pandemic emerged in China in December, ventilators have been one of the most critical tools used by hospitals to keep CoViD-19 patients alive. With anywhere between 21 percent to 31 percent of patients requiring hospitalization and 5 percent to 11 percent of patients requiring intensive care, the pandemic has exposed the U.S. health care system’s inability to provide the breathing-assistance machine to all those who need them—placing medical professionals in the heart-breaking position of choosing who lives and dies.
The critical lack of the life-saving devices along with sluggish support from the federal government forced Cuomo on Friday to sign an executive order authorizing the state to seize ventilators and redistribute them on the basis of where they are needed most.
In a tweet, Cuomo wrote:
“We do not have enough ventilators. Period. I am signing an Executive Order allowing the state to take ventilators and redistribute to hospitals in need.
The National Guard will be mobilized to move ventilators to where they are urgently required to save lives.”
However, last week Tsai and Ma donated 1,000 ventilators and 2.6 million face masks to the Mount Sinai hospital system through their private foundations.
On Saturday, another 1,000 ventilators arrived at JFK Airport in the hard-hit borough of Queens after Tsai and the government of China collaborated to deliver the crucial devices to the state.
According to an anonymous source speaking to the South China Morning Post, the value of the donated devices amounts to about $50 million.
Additionally, the Brooklyn Nets put aside their rivalry with the Manhattan-based New York Knicks to work alongside the NBA and Beijing to contribute one million masks to essential workers toiling on the frontlines of the pandemic.
And with the unemployment rate skyrocketing to around 13 percent according to the New York Times—mainly due to a global economic crisis compounded by the novel virus—Tsai has also pledged to provide hourly workers at the Nets’ home court, Barclays Center, with their typical wages at least through May while the arena is indefinitely shuttered.
The donations reportedly required top-level, back-room negotiations to overcome protectionist barriers between the U.S. and China.
However, the gesture is a rare yet welcome example of binational collaboration in the fight against the coronavirus, especially as White House officials attempt to blame the People’s Republic of China for the outbreak of the worst pandemic in over a century.
President Donald Trump greeted the donations as “a big deal” that could “make a significant difference” in the U.S. fight to minimize losses inflicted by the novel virus.
“Jack Ma is a friend of mine and he’s made it very possible to get about 1,000 ventilators from China.
But that was from him and my other friend [Tsai] that was really a gift. And we appreciate it very much.”
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.