The founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has sent nearly half a million pieces of personal protective equipment to hospitals in the San Diego region, much of it expected to arrive this week, UC San Diego Health announced today.
Joe Tsai is a resident of San Diego with his wife Clara and their children. The Tsai family reached out to UCSD to help distribute equipment throughout the region to keep health care workers safe while battling COVID-19.
"Our university is privileged to play a role in assisting Joe and Clara in providing their generous donation of masks and goggles to health care institutions in the greater San Diego community and other parts of California," said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. "This equipment is invaluable as our region prepares for a likely surge in the number of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic."
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The couple have been involved with the university for several years via various campus programs: Clara Wu Tsai is a member of the Associate of the Chancellor's Thought Leaders Group and her husband is involved with the 21st Century China Program at UCSD's School of Global Policy and Strategy.
He also owns the San Diego Seals indoor lacrosse team, which partners with UC San Diego Health for the team's medical needs.
UC San Diego Health, the first local health system to care for COVID- 19 positive patients in the region, is currently testing more than 700 people per day. The hospital is also undertaking clinical trials to help identify a future treatment for the viral disease.
"Since we first became aware of COVID-19, UC San Diego Health made immediate efforts to secure the necessary medical and surgical supplies to
protect and prepare our frontline health care workers," said CEO Patty Maysent. "We are deeply grateful for this donation that further strengthens our ability to keep our health care workers safe as well as our ability to safely care for the community during the anticipated surge."
Flexport.org, the branch of freight forwarder Flexport that moves humanitarian aid for nonprofits and companies, funded and handled logistics for the shipments of personal protective equipment brought from Shanghai to San Diego.