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China's richest man to donate 500,000 coronavirus testing kits, 1 million masks to U.S. to help 'in these difficult times'

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 3/13/2020 Nelson Oliveira
Jack Ma © Getty Jack Ma

Billionaire Jack Ma, China’s richest man and founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is lending a hand to the United States by donating 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and one million masks.

His namesake charity announced the donation Friday on Twitter, pledging to “join hands with Americans in these difficult times.”

“Drawing from my own country’s experience, speedy and accurate testing and accurate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus,” the Jack Ma Foundation said in a statement. “We hope that our donation can help Americans fight against the pandemic!”

The U.S. government hopes to ramp up testing after failing to produce enough test kits to handle the number of people experiencing symptoms in this country.

As of Thursday, fewer than 14,000 specimens had been tested since January, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In South Korea, meanwhile, nearly 20,000 people are being tested every day.

The majority of Americans are still not allowed to be tested because of strict federal guidelines prioritizing elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions.

Ma’s foundation said the pandemic can no longer be resolved by any individual country.

“Rather, we need to combat the virus by working hand-in-hand," the charity wrote. "At this moment. we can’t beat the virus unless we eliminate boundaries to resources and share our know-how and hard-earned lessons.”

Ma, whose nearly $40 billion net worth makes him the world’s 21st richest person, has recently donated supplies and money to several other countries affected by the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, including Iran, Italy, Japan and Spain.

In January, the business magnate donated 100 million yuan, or about $14.3 million, to support the development of a vaccine against the viral infection.

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