Asia’s richest man announced his intention on Friday to ship 500,000 testing kits and 1 million masks to the U.S. in an effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Jack Ma’s charitable foundation and his China-based company's foundation, the Alibaba Foundation, have also sourced and donated supplies to other countries being hit by the virus, including Japan, Korea, Italy, Iran and Spain.
The donation comes amid testing delays across the U.S. as state officials scramble amid a shortage of lab materials — sparking concerns that health officials are undercounting the number of Americans with 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,” the statement said. “We hope that our donation can help Americans fight against the pandemic!”
Ma’s announcement also comes as Trump aides and allies cast blame on China, with some officials calling it “the Wuhan virus” — a reference to the Chinese city that is the epicenter of the disease. National security adviser Robert O’Brien has accused China of covering up a health crisis, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has labeled the outbreak the “Wuhan coronavirus.”
“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,” Ma said in the statement. “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.”