May 30, 2020

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04/02 Links Pt2: The Man Who Saved the World from Two Pandemics; Coronavirus Passover: Why is this year different from all others?; The Coronavirus in Perfect Hindsight

From Ian:

The Last Resort: The Man Who Saved the World from Two Pandemics
Scandal, anti-Semitism, and experiments on human beings – when we opened this fascinating archive to have a look at the documents contained within, we could not have imagined how this incredible tale would unfold – the story of a Zionist scientist who was determined to save the world from the plague and cholera against all odds. Introducing Waldemar Mordechai Wolff (Zeev) Haffkine.

Haffkine was born in the Russian Empire in 1860 in what is today the Ukraine. His life trajectory was determined as soon as he completed his studies in Switzerland in the late 19th century, when he decided to dedicate his life to the study of tiny organisms. At the time, Louis Pasteur was one of the best-known scientists in the field, and Haffkine decided to seek work at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. He was accepted but was given a job as a librarian, as that was the only available opening at the Institute. Bureaucracy, what can you do?

While Haffkine was working with experts like Pasteur and Ilya Mechnikov, cholera outbreaks in Russia and India emerged as a serious threat. Haffkine felt his time had come, and after tireless research, he managed to develop a cholera vaccine based on attenuated bacteria. People may have been dying in masses of a rampant pandemic, but no one stepped up to support Haffkine’s research. He decided to take a drastic step – a last resort to prove the vaccine’s credibility: Haffkine picked up a syringe full of an attenuated strain of cholera, inserted the needle into his arm, and injected the disease straight into his bloodstream. How many would have done the same?

After several days of suffering from fever and worrisome symptoms – the long-awaited turnaround arrived, and on July 30th, 1892, Haffkine reported his findings and the success of the vaccine to the Biological Society in France. But France and other European countries remained skeptical and suspicious of his methods, and refused to accept his results. At the time, European official medical establishments weren’t very enthusiastic about the idea of vaccines in general.

Holocaust Remembrance Day can still be held communally despite coronavirus

As measures to curb the coronavirus around the world keep people isolated in their homes, Jews are still able to commemorate the Holocaust together on Holocaust Remembrance Day as the social initiative project “Zikaron BaSalon” is now holding events online via Zoom.

“This year, even more than ever, we will mark Holocaust days and the heroes at home, in our private living rooms together with family members,” said project founder Adi Altschuler.

In the past, Zikaron BaSalon – meaning “remembrance in the living room” – hosted events in private homes, where discussions were held on the Holocaust in attempts to keep the memories alive. Bridging the past to the present, the project has had over a million hosts in over 54 countries worldwide.

This year a website has been launched online so that hosts can hold events, since official events have been canceled, parades and tours have been stopped and Holocaust survivors have been told to stay home in order to stay healthy. “Despite all of this, it is important to hear the stories and testimonials of the survivors,” said Altschuler.

On the website, special events can be found tailored to families, designed for kids and teens alike, as well instructions on how to have a Zoom meeting with grandparents or second generation family members.

As the Holocaust survivors are most vulnerable to the virus, the project will unfortunately proceed without their live testimonials, as the social initiative aims to protect them.

“It is the personal responsibility of all of us to commemorate the Holocaust Remembrance Day along with its heroes, listen to the testimonies and stories, in every way possible, even in today’s reality – despite the coronavirus, so we will never forget,” said Altschuler.

Coronavirus Passover: Why is this year different from all others?

As the Health Ministry strives to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic across Israel, it has issued a list of guidelines in conjunction with the Chief Rabbinate to help keep Israelis safe.

Why is this Passover different from all others before it?

This Passover:
1. We will celebrate in our own homes and only with our nuclear families.
2. None of our dishes or other utensils will be kashered and no hametz will be burned outside of our homes.
3. We will not hire outside cleaning help but will clean our homes on our own with store-bought bleach or other cleaning products.
4. We will order our groceries to be delivered.

“This Passover, send love remotely through Zoom or phone calls,” the ministry advised, adding that if for any reason people leave their homes, they should wear a face mask and stay two meters from anyone they encounter. The ministry said people should pray alone, refrain from taking walks in nature or anywhere more than 100 meters from their homes.

“Please obey the Health Ministry guidelines so that we can all celebrate together next year,” the Health Ministry wrote.

Noah Rothman: The Coronavirus in Perfect Hindsight

Today, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that this nightmare is real and debilitating, much of the Global South and the equatorial world has not adopted the kinds of draconian proscriptions to which the industrialized world has appealed. Even if this is a recipe for inevitable disaster, imposing incredible hardships on the public in anticipation of a dramatic event is a tough plan for any democratic leader to follow.

Writing for the South China Morning Post, Johannesburg-based businessman Charles Stith crystalized the grim calculus facing the leaders of relatively unaffected states: “more people are going to be affected adversely by the shutdown versus those who have died from the virus or are reasonably expected to contract it.” This may seem callous from the vantage point of a wealthy Western nation that can incur substantial debts and in which social isolation is eased by ubiquitous advanced communications technologies. But, for millions in the developing world, the human costs of “lockdown” policies are steep—perhaps even more onerous than the prospect of a plague.

Not every American public official failed to see this coming. Senators such as Chris Murphy and Josh Hawley and governors such as Mike DeWine raised the alarm early and, in DeWine’s case, defied even legal rulings to shut down much of his state as early as possible. This was prescience, not clairvoyance. But the signals to which these politicians responded could be heard only faintly over the din of skepticism. That skepticism was not ignorant. It was informed by both an understanding of the history of past respiratory-illness outbreaks and the available data. It’s only the clarity of hindsight that has led us all to wonder how we erred so grievously. And yet, to so many educated and circumspect experts, it all made sense at the time.

Melanie Phillips: Why so many ‘experts’ make such disastrous errors

King is speaking principally about economics. What he says, however, is also applicable to other issues where so many scientific experts have got things so terribly wrong – such as the devastating errors made by some of them over coronavirus, not to mention the global madness over climate change (to which he refers in passing as characterised by “quite a lot of uncertainty”).

Rather than look at what was undeniably true about Covid-19 – that the combination of its exponential rate of infectivity and serious or fatal effects in a minority of cases meant any health care system would quickly become overwhelmed – mindlessly mathematical modellers fed inadequate abstract information into their computers and got disastrously false results.

One of the clearest and most dramatic examples was the study by Professor Tom Pike of Imperial college, London who predicted that at the height of the Covid-19 outbreak Britain would have 260 deaths a day.

Just a few days later, Britain’s daily virus death rate reached 260 and Pike was forced to eat his words and admit he had seriously underestimated the problem.

He had based his false calculation on the assumption that the outbreak in Britain would follow a similar trajectory to what had been seen in Wuhan, China. Among many aspects of reality that this failed to take into consideration was surely that the Chinese statistics are almost certainly a gross under-estimate.

Pike’s critics got it right.

Fraternal Enemies: Israel and the Gulf Monarchies | An interview with Clive Jones

Fraternal Enemies: Israel and the Gulf Monarchies by Clive Jones and Yoel Guzansky is a revealing history of the complex and fast-evolving relationship between the Jewish State and the Gulf States. The authors claim that a ‘Tacit Security Regime’ has emerged between these ‘fraternal enemies’ based on their extensive shared interests – security, economic, diplomatic and cyber – and on the personal relationships that have been assiduously built up, in no small part by Prime Minister Netanyahu. Clive Jones spoke to Fathom deputy editor Samuel Nurding on 7 February 2020.

Two Authors
Samuel Nurding: The book is timely. What led you and Yoel to write it?

Clive Jones: I started off thinking I would write about Britain’s involvement in the Yemen civil war in the early 1960s. Israel became involved because some of the documents I was examining and some of the people I interviewed alluded to Israeli involvement I found that intriguing. Later I met somebody who was intimately involved in Britain’s support for the Royalist guerrillas in the mountains of northern Yemen, and he showed me not only his private papers demonstrating what he was up to in Yemen but also the list of the Israelis involved in Yemen at the time. By now I was thinking more about Israel’s periphery doctrine: how did Israel try to court and influence allies when developing its regional security agenda?

At around that time, I was asked to review a book by Yoel, who had come from working in the Prime Minister’s office in Israel and the Iran desk at the National Security Council. By chance, he told me about a new book he was writing on the Arab Gulf monarchies, and he had read some of my own pieces on Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States. So, the book emerged through a confluence of intellectual interests – that’s the genesis of the project.
Tacit Security Regime

SN: You claim that most theoretical frameworks fail to explain Israel’s historic ties with the Gulf states. You argue that a Tacit Security Regime (TSR) is the best conceptual framework to help explain the relationship between Israel and the Gulf states. What are the key elements of a TSR model and why did you choose it over other frameworks?

CJ: Let’s start with the second question first, the why? It would be very easy to explain the relationship through a realpolitik lens, and clearly there is a strong element of power politics at play here, and equally we could have applied Security Regime Theory. These theories look broadly at how state actors cooperate overtly towards the attainment and maintenance of shared interests which can, in some cases, result in formal agreements or treaties. The problem with doing that, however, is twofold. Firstly, when you look at security regimes, they tend to be grounded in either some form of bilateral agreement or treaty, but that is not the case with Israel and the Gulf monarchies. Secondly, Security Regimes Theory still tends to be dominated by structural realist approaches, which look at the way in which states interact with one another at the global or regional levels, but fail to analyse domestic determinants and domestic constraints: these are often called ‘ideational constraints’ by political scientists. It seemed to us, therefore, that traditional Security Regime Theory, and realist theory by extension, do not seem to capture fully the dynamic that underpins the complex relationship between Israel and many of the Gulf monarchies.

Biden’s Anti-Israel Stripes

Former US vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC on March 2 that Israel’s annexation and settlement policies are undermining support for the Jewish state among young people.

What is “undermining support” for Israel “among young people” and others is the failure of those politicians like Biden who consider themselves “pro-Israel” but are misinformed about the legal status of the West Bank, and consequently are not capable of understanding, explaining, and defending Israel’s rights to that area. Biden himself does not know why the settlements are legal, and merely assumes, like tens of millions of others, that they are illegitimate because everyone tells him so — the New York Times, the Washington Post, the BBC, the U.N. General Assembly, the Arab League, the O.I.C. But his statement at AIPAC merely reveals his ignorance of the history of the Jewish state. It is not enough to consider oneself “pro-Israel” – you have to get Israel’s history straight, in order to adequately defend the country. This Joe Biden has not done. He doesn’t dislike Israel, unlike some in his party, including the infamous “Squad” and Bernie Sanders; Biden likes Israel, but doesn’t know enough to make its case.

Let’s review the history of the Mandate for Palestine. Biden does not know that when the League of Nations established the Mandates system, following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, several mandates were created exclusively for the Arabs. France held the Mandate for Syria and Lebanon, Great Britain held the Mandate for Iraq. Those European powers were responsible for guiding the local populations to achieve independence. In the end, as we all know, the Arabs have by now managed to acquire 22 separate states, far more than any other people, places where they treat non-Arab Muslims – Kurds, Berbers, black Africans – with contumely or worse. And in many of those Arab states, non-Muslims are often humiliated, persecuted, and sometimes killed.

The one territory reserved for the Jews was that set aside for inclusion in the Mandate for Palestine. It extended from the Golan in the north to the Gulf of Aqaba in the south, and from an area east of the Jordan River “out into the desert” to the Mediterranean. The British, who held the Mandate for Palestine, then unilaterally decided that all the territory east of the Jordan — 78% of the territory that was originally to be included the Mandate – would be closed to Jewish immigration, so that it would instead become part of the newly-created Emirate of Transjordan (later the Kingdom of Jordan). What was left in the Palestine Mandate for the Jews was 22% of the territory that was originally to have been included. This was the sliver of land that went from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, and from the Golan to the Gulf of Aqaba. That Mandatory territory, that was to have formed the future Jewish state, included all of what became known as the West Bank. I doubt that Joe Biden knows any of this. He doesn’t strike me as having done his homework. He doesn’t feel he has to, you see, because his heart’s in the right place, he’s “pro-Israel.” How wrong he is.

CAA statement on new Labour leader: Disciplining Jeremy Corbyn is your litmus test

The new leader of the Labour Party will commence his or her term in office during the worst health crisis in living memory, but that must not delay dealing with another priority, addressing the Party’s need for internal reforms, starting with unravelling its institutional antisemitism.

On the campaign trail, the contenders have often spoken of the importance of a “litmus test” to evidence whether antisemitism is being taken seriously. Naturally, the recommendations of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which will come in due course, must be implemented in full. But the real litmus test is more immediate and it has a name: Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Corbyn’s leadership failed electorally, moreover it wrecked Labour’s record as an anti-racist party and led to swathes of the Jewish community questioning their future in Britain. Restoring the Party’s credibility is no small task, particularly if the new leader is from Mr Corbyn’s frontbench, but it must begin with disciplining the outgoing leader.

The EHRC’s full statutory investigation into Labour was launched following a formal referral from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant. But what has not been revealed until now is that the original impetus for the investigation was the Labour Party’s repeated refusal to treat seriously a series of complaints that our organisation made against Mr Corbyn.

The process of repairing the Labour Party must begin with the man who did so much to break it by refusing to address its scourge of anti-Jewish racism and at times personally indulging in it.

Coronavirus Temporarily Slows Campus BDS Efforts

The coronavirus pandemic that began in China has now engulfed the entire world. Among the casualties was higher education in North America. Campuses have shut down and courses have been moved online. What this $600 billion industry will look like after the crisis remains uncertain.

Before the shutdown, BDS on campus scored several important victories. A faculty-student board at Brown University published its previously announced recommendation that the university corporation divest from companies doing business in Israel. While the university has not yet taken a stand, the notional pressure from faculty bodes ill for any such future decision.

A newly established BDS group at Harvard also reviewed a portion of that institution’s investments, and claimed to find some $200 million invested in a single travel company whose subsidiaries do business in Israeli communities. It is likely that some of those specific investments, and university portfolios generally, could be restructured as a result of the global economic crisis prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. The BDS movement will then try to exploit those changes as indicators of successful pressure.

Generating the appearance of consensus through campus referenda — and thereby circumventing the opportunity for rebutting arguments — continues to be a favored BDS tactic.

At Columbia University, President Lee Bollinger issued a strong statement opposing BDS and antisemitism. Bollinger stated that he opposed a BDS referendum since it “imposes a standard on this particular political issue that is not right when one considers similar issues in other countries and in other contexts around the world. To my mind that is unwise, analytically flawed.” Jewish groups expressed support for Bollinger, as did a number of Columbia faculty members. But despite the campus shutdown, the referendum will be held via online voting.

At the University of Illinois a BDS resolution that had been vetoed by the student government president also faced nullification by the full body. At Tufts University, the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) branch is campaigning for a referendum to end the institution’s tiny involvement with a police training program in Israel, using the now familiar accusation that Israel is at the root of American “police violence” and “militarization.”

CNN’s Amanpour Condemns “power grab” By Israel’s Prime Minister and Others

We’ve said it often, but it’s worth repeating: Anyone interested in reasonably unbiased information about Israel (at least) should avoid the broadcasts of CNN’s Chief International Correspondent and Anchor, Christiane Amanpour.

In characterizing responses to the Coronavirus epidemic, Amanpour asserted on March 31: “Many leaders are using this crisis to grab special powers and violate civil rights… And Israel and even the U.K. grab emergency powers without an end in sight.”

The first third of the broadcast consisted of a conversation with William Burns, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, “about pandemic and politics.”

Amanpour asserted that there is
a power grab by Prime Minister Netanyahu. He’s managed to consolidate his power even though he didn’t win the election. And Benny Gantz, his opposition, has essentially given up his choice to form a government and decided to go into an emergency government of national unity. And Netanyahu has closed down courts and everything, which presumably, you know, inoculates him from the corruption trial that he was about to face.

But this charge contains typical Amanpour disinformation. As CAMERA’s Tamar Sternthal pointed out in responding to the same disinformation by others: “But Netanyahu did not shut down the courts. Nor did he delay his own trial. Nor have the courts been shuttered, though their activities have been curtailed… it was Justice Minister Amir Ohana, a Netanyahu ally, who ordered the courts to restrict their activity.”

More Corona-hooked Gaza Strip messaging on BBC WS radio

As regular readers know, since mid-March the BBC has produced several reports (see ‘related articles’ below) on the topic of the Gaza strip and the Coronavirus pandemic; some pre-emptive and some after the first cases were diagnosed. Most of those reports focused on the population density and poor healthcare services in the Gaza Strip, with some falsely claiming that Israeli counter-terrorism measures are responsible for the latter.

BBC audiences have however been told next to nothing about Hamas’ prioritisation of terror over public services for more than a decade, the Palestinian Authority’s responsibility for the shortage of medicines and equipment in hospitals in the Gaza Strip or the part played by Israel in delivering Coronavirus testing kits and medical supplies to the territory.

In early March the Hamas terror organisation which controls the Gaza Strip told residents not to travel abroad and later closed the crossings into Israel and Egypt. Hamas also began building quarantine facilities and as of April 1st there were twelve Covid 19 cases in the Gaza Strip. Between March 22nd and March 28th, 68,275 tons of goods were delivered to the Gaza Strip including 12,423 tons of food and 145 tons of medical supplies.

The March 31st evening edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ – presented by Paul Henley – included yet another Gaza-Corona item (from 09:01 here): an interview with Najla Shawa who who works for the NGO Oxfam and was previously an UNRWA employee. Since 2015 she has been repeatedly interviewed by the BBC, more often than not without proper identification and with no information given to BBC audiences concerning her “particular viewpoints”.

Amazon shopper horrified to find Nazi pamphlet reprinted inside newly-purchased puppy training book

An Amazon shopper has expressed horror at finding a Nazi pamphlet reprinted inside the guide to training puppies that she purchased from the online retailer.

The Nazi book, called Adolf Hitler, 1931-1935: Pictures from the Life of the Führer, was published in 1936 and authored by numerous Nazi leaders, including Joseph Goebbels and Otto Dietrich, as well as Robert Ley, Albert Speer, Rudolf Hess. It even features even a foreword by Hermann Göring.

The customer had bought a book called Puppy Training but after the front cover found the odes to the Nazi leader in the pages within.

The customer reports that she had asked Amazon to remove the “awful and misleading item from their listings” three times and was simply told that the retailer was “investigating”.

In a statement, Amazon said: “We apologise to the customer for this issue, which was caused by a one-off printing issue with a supplier. Our supplier has confirmed that steps have been taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

The Nazi propaganda book is on sale in its own right on Amazon, which has a poor record of offering such books for sale. Only last month did the online seller remove Mein Kampf from its website.

The Boys from Laupheim

In March 1973, I drove onto the Burbank lot of Warner Brothers to begin a polish of my script Black Bart, the second title of the phenomenon that morphed into Blazing Saddles. (The first was Tex X, rejected due to the studio’s reluctance to have an “X” leering from the marquee.) I was 28, simultaneously awestruck and giddy, my heart racing, but as I passed through the studio gates, an immense sadness engulfed me and tears began to run down my cheeks. This reaction was at once surprising and entirely logical, because while I drove alone in my rented Camaro, a ghostly passenger sat beside me—my father Rudy Bergman, whose turbulent but not atypical history had led me to this piercing moment.

Rudy Bergman was a German-Jewish refugee, born in Laupheim, Germany, on November 14, 1911. He was a tall, shy, funny man who often referred to Hitler as “my travel agent.” He had fled Deutschland in 1937, arriving in New York with no money and no prospects; America was not then in the deepest morass of the Great Depression, but it was still on life support and work was scarce. My dad was initially routed into a holding pattern of menial jobs, at one point selling Fuller Brushes door to door, a task for which he was spectacularly ill-suited. Shlepping a sample case and ringing strange doorbells was a considerable comedown for a person born into relative prosperity, but my father found the situation more comic than tragic, and it left no scars. Rudy was a man for whom bitterness was an unknown sensation.

I say that he knew relative prosperity. Middle-class Jews in Weimar Germany lived not extravagantly but very, very well, with far more domestic help than I ever experienced in my years as a hotsy-totsy writer-director. Laupheim was a small but not insignificant town in Southern Germany and its bourgeoisie employed battalions of maids and nannies and laundresses; parents basically saw their kids at bath time, in a snapshot of togetherness before or after dinner. Rudy was the eldest of the three children born to Paula and Edwin Bergmann, the part owner of Bergmann Wigs, a producer of hairpieces and associated products that exists to this day, more than 80 years after the Nazis seized its Laupheim factory. In fact, some performances at the Metropolitan Opera still utilize ancient Bergmann wigs. (The second ‘n’ was dropped when my father arrived in New York.)

The Bergmanns were an interesting bunch. My grandfather Edwin, who died when I was two, was intrigued by photography; my grandmother Paula, who was not permitted, in the custom of the time, any profession whatsoever except for curating headaches and joint pain, revealed herself later to be a spectacular and witty correspondent, writing hilarious letters in her second language. The star of the family was my father’s younger sister Margaret (Gretel), a world-class high-jumper whose racial banishment from the German Olympic team on the eve of the 1936 Games became an international cause célèbre that eventually inspired both a documentary (HBO’s Hitler’s Pawn) and feature (Berlin 1936) film. She died in Queens in 2017 at age 103, by then lionized in Germany (with stadia named after her) and very much at peace after years of anger at her stolen opportunities. After Gretel immigrated to the U.S., she became an American woman’s high-jump and shot-put champion, despite never having thrown the shot in her life! Unfortunately, she exhausted the family’s athletic genes.

While aunt Gretel was a budding sports star, Rudy was living a relatively unfocussed and, dare I say, frivolous existence. Photos of the time feature my dad and his pals blearily wielding beer steins in their beloved Zum Ochsen saloon or lounging on bucolic hillsides with a variety of smiling women. His memories of Germany were unfailingly pleasant, even after his brutal displacement. In truth, he had lived a more leisurely and unstressed life pre-Hitler than his own kids did in the scrappy lower-middle-class world of 1950s Queens.

In time for global self-isolation, ‘Anne Frank Video Diary’ premieres on YouTube

As large swaths of the world shelter-in-place during the COVID-19 pandemic, stewards of The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam are asking YouTube viewers to imagine if the diarist had been given a video-camera alongside her red-checkered diary.

Premiering on YouTube this week, “Anne Frank Video Diary” includes 15 episodes to be aired through early May. Filmed in selfie-style with quick cuts, each episode is between five and 10 minutes in length.

Although the project began more than one year ago, “Anne Frank Video Diary’s” release on March 30 is connected to current global concerns, said Ronald Leopold, executive director of The Anne Frank House.

“The way we read Anne’s diary and learn about her history is always being influenced by our own lives,” said Leopold in a recent interview with The Times of Israel.

“There is something more than the specific history,” said Leopold of the diary. “It shows us who we are, what makes us human. In times like this, these are questions people are dealing with. This [pandemic] will also affect the way people read the diary,” said the museum head.

According to the museum’s website, the YouTube-based selfie-format was deployed to engage adolescents on social media. Filmed in Dutch, the series is closed-captioned in five other languages.

“We need to reach out to 4th and 5th generations,” said Leopold, whose museum partnered with Every Media to create the series. The project includes a seven-part curriculum tied to the series for educators.

Justin Bieber says Shema Yisrael on Instagram live

Famed pop singer Justin Bieber said the prayer Shema Yisrael on an Instagram livestream in which he brought a fan on to speak with him and she said she is from Israel.

Bieber responded to the fan by reciting the Shema and admitting, “That’s my Hebrew, that’s all I really know.”

Bieber assumedly knows the prayer from his Jewish long-time manager, Scooter Braun, who would say the Shema along with Bieber and some crew members before a concert began back when Bieber rose to fame in 2011.

A clip of the prayer is included in the 2011 film about Bieber, Never Say Never.

Robert Kraft sends Patriots team plane to China to pick up masks for medical personnel

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft sent the team plane to China to pick up new protective gear for medical personnel.

The plane was on the ground for just under three hours in Shenzhen as workers in masks and full-body suits loaded boxes of N95 masks onto the plane, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker had arranged to purchase 1.7 million of the protective face masks from several manufacturers across the country. The logistics of flying them out of China required more help, however.

Kraft and his son Jonathan also agreed to pay $2 million, or approximately half the cost of the masks, according to the report.

The crew was required to remain on the plane during the loading of the cargo in part to avoid having to quarantine in the country for two weeks.

Only 1.2 million of the masks fit on the plane, which is designed to carry passengers and not cargo. The other half a million masks will be transported on another shipment, the newspaper reported.

At Robert Kraft’s request, Massachusetts will send 300,000 of the masks to New York.

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