Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma says he is donating 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and one million protective face masks to the United States, Reuters reports. The Chinese billionaire already has pledged 2 million protective masks to European countries. A first shipment of test kits, medical supplies and 500,000 masks intended for Italy, which has been hard-hit by the virus, arriving at Liege Airport in Belgium late Friday.
“The pandemic we face today can no longer be resolved by any individual country,” Ma said in a statement posted to Twitter. “We can’t beat this virus unless we eliminate boundaries to resources and share our know-how and hard-earned lessons.” The US has lagged behind other countries testing for the coronavirus.
Through a donation of 500,000 testing kits and 1 million masks, we join hands with Americans in these difficult times. pic.twitter.com/tGviVhC6Gx— Jack Ma Foundation (@foundation_ma) March 13, 2020
Ma started Alibaba in 1999 and helped grow it into a $420 billion business. His estimated net worth is around $37 billion.
President Trump on Friday declared a national emergency over the coronavirus, which the World Health Organization declared is a pandemic. Italy has been among the countries hardest hit by the virus, with the Italian government putting the entire country on lockdown last week.
As of Saturday morning, 2,195 people in the US had tested positive for the coronavirus.