Billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma is reaching across the distance between China and the United States in the face of the coronavirus outbreak that is now having devastating impact on both countries. In a recent post on the Jack Ma Foundation's official Twitter account, Ma pledged to donate 500,000 badly needed coronavirus testing kits as well as 1 million facemasks to the United States.
Ma's statement was brief and to the point, perhaps a small reflection of the urgency of the situation, and in it he cites the experience China has already had with this virus and containing its spread:
"Drawing from my own country's experience, speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus. We hope that our donation can help Americans fight against the pandemic!"
Ma also expressed the necessity of unity across national boundaries in combating a pandemic such as the coronavirus:
"This crisis presents a huge challenge to all humankind in a globalized world. The pandemic we face today can no longer be resolved by any individual country. Rather, we need to combat the virus by working hand-in-hand. At this moment, we can not beat the virus until we eliminate boundaries to resources and share our know-how and hard-earned lessons."
This isn't Ma's only contribution to the battle against coronavirus. He's also donated almost $17 million altogether to various organizations working to find a vaccine for the virus, first a $14.5 million donation in China, then another $2.15 million to Australia's Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
Ma's pledge comes as the United States is lagging far behind other countries in testing for coronavirus, a shortage which could lead to catastrophe as it continues to spread. The statement does not specify where the tests or masks were being sent, but ideally they will end up in the hands of those who need them and where they can do the most good.