When you're in the media empire business, like for instance the New York Post or Barstool Sports, it's important to have journalistic standards. And if you're in the John Henry media empire business, it's important to have journalistic double standards.
This week began with Henry's Ministry of Truth saying that the 1.7 million masks the Patriots flew back from China - including the 300,000 the Kraft family paid for personally and shipped to New York for which they were praised on the front page of the Post by a grateful city - were, according to the Boston Globe, inferior and pretty much useless. Maybe to the point of being dangerous to use.
As well-intended and carefully executed as the covert mission to China had been, at least some and possibly many of the roughly one-million protective masks on the team plane were not the time-tested, industry-standard N95 masks that medical workers wear when treating coronavirus patients. Rather, they were a Chinese version known as a KN95 mask that some hospitals in Boston and beyond have so far declined to use and remain reluctant about today. …
When KN95 respirator masks are made right, authenticated, and properly tested, they are considered to have most, if not all, of the protective qualities of the N95 masks. ... But while the masks appear to offer similar performance, they are not certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Fears of counterfeit masks run rampant, and many doctors are concerned they would put workers at risk.
The public backlash, as you can imagine, was nasty. Not just from me, but from the people who actually read the Globe. A population, while maybe unwise enough to have subscribed to the Globe, nevertheless have the common sense to know when an organization that is doing so much good work in a crisis is being slammed unfairly, just to stroke the ego of the peculiar, effete, translucent billionaire who bought himself a newspaper to play with. I'm told that the Globe's website finally had to shut off the comment under the article, they were that universally negative from an outraged readership.
What a difference a few days - and people who are willing to call out bullshit when they see it - can make. Because all of a sudden John Henry's birdcage liner can't get enough of those sweet, sweet KN95 masks. It seems like once somebody else provides them, those PPEs are no long cotton weave death machines that will wipe out all our doctors and nurses and finish the job Pearl Harbor started by putting the Greatest Generation into their graves. They're life-saving equipment.
When organizations and private citizens the Globe editorial board doesn't resent does the generous and much needed work of getting our medical professionals these KN95s, they get the praise they deserve:
The Burton snowboard company is donating 500,000 respirator masks to hospitals across the Northeast, harnessing the company's worldwide footprint to help put a dent in the country's lagging stockpile of personal protective equipment for the coronavirus pandemic.
Donna Burton Carpenter said her company's largest binding manufacturer, Fudakin in China, directed her to a nearby factory that was making FDA-approved KN95 respirator masks.
Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and model Camille Kostek have donated 10,000 medical-grade KN95 masks to both Boston Medical Center and St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in New Jersey, in an effort to assist with the high demand for medical supplies amid the coronavirus outbreak.
God bless Burton Snowboards and Gronk and Camille Kostek for their generosity. What they and others are doing proves that times like these bring out the best in people. That decent human beings are motivated to do good works simply because helping others the right thing to do. And worthy of praise. Whether the ones doing the giving are a sporting goods manufacturer, a celebrity couple or a football franchise some newspaper owner doesn't appreciate because it's more popular than his baseball team and some of them don't have a sufficient amount of hatred for Trump.
Anyway, I'm glad we're all on the same page as the president of Mass General when it comes to these masks. It took long enough.