China has started shipping planeloads of medical equipment to the US to help cope with the pandemic. That country has created new factories to produce these supplies even as their domestic needs wane.
“China has abundant protective equipment now, and the rest of the world has a huge shortage,” said James McGregor, the chairman of greater China for APCO Worldwide.
The White House is arranging for air transport to help expedite the shipping of personal protective equipment purchased by these companies overseas, the spokesman said, adding that both FEMA and the State Department were helping support the effort.
In the private sector, a variety of wealthy individuals, charitable organizations and corporate executives with connections to China have also stepped forward to try to help get goods to the United States.
Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire and co-founder of Alibaba, is funneling one million masks and 500,000 tests to the United States. The Committee of 100, a leadership organization of Americans of Chinese descent, has raised $1 million to purchase medical supplies and protective gear from around the world to bring to the United States.
Li Lu, the chairman of Himalaya Capital Management, said he was helping to arrange a shipment to the United States of one million masks made by BYD, a Chinese automaker of which Himalaya Capital is a part owner.
Since January, Mr. Li had helped to send more than $1.4 million of medical supplies from all over the world to Wuhan, where the outbreak first began. But by the beginning of March, as China was slowly recovering from its epidemic and a crisis was looming in the West, Mr. Li realized he needed to send the supplies in the other direction.
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