Bob Kraft sends Patriots plane to China to get equipment for Mass.

Bob Kraft sends Patriots plane to China to get equipment for Mass.

There are 7,738 confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts, and more than a thousand of those cases were reported on Wednesday — the largest spike the state has seen so far. To date, 122 people have died from the virus, and the state has conducted more than 51,000 tests. The state converted an arena in Worcester, Mass., into a 250-bed field hospital Wednesday as it prepares for an influx in patients, and is eyeing a Boston convention center as another possible hospital site.

For weeks, Baker has warned that Massachusetts is in desperate need of more protective equipment including masks, sanitizing wipes and gowns for health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, especially as cases are expected to surge sometime between April 7 and April 17 in Massachusetts.

The Republican governor has raised those concerns with Trump. He told the president the federal government was outbidding Massachusetts on equipment — even after advising states to work on getting their own supplies. A week later, the Bay State was still being outbid and had only received a fraction of what it requested from the Strategic National Stockpile. Baker grew increasingly frustrated at a recent press conference, saying he’d seen confirmed orders for millions of pieces of gear “evaporate” before his eyes.

With Kraft’s help, it appears Massachusetts has found an alternate way to get necessary equipment. It wasn’t clear Wednesday night whether Kraft or the state is paying for the protective equipment being imported from China.

When Baker was asked Wednesday about protective equipment during a press briefing in Worcester, he did not say much, but hinted at an announcement planned for Thursday. Baker’s office did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.

“I think we’re gonna have a lot more to say about gear tomorrow,” Baker said Wednesday. “I’m gonna leave it at that.”

“We’ve been working on a variety of processes and opportunities to make sure that we have the gear that we need to serve our medical community and our first responders,” Baker continued. “I’ve also said that I expected to have more information on this later this week, and I do.”

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