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Chinese Billionaire To Donate 1M Masks And 500K Coronavirus Test Kits To U.S.

Prior to President Trump's national emergency declaration regarding the coronavirus, a Chinese billionaire reached out and offered to lend America a much-needed helping hand.

Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce company Alibaba, has announced he will be donating one million face masks and 500,000 coronavirus test kits to "help Americans fight against the pandemic."

Ma made the announcement via a press release posted to his Twitter account on Friday morning, hours before Trump declared a national emergency.

"Drawing from my own country's experience, speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are the most effective in preventing the spread of the virus," the billionaire wrote online.

"We can't beat this virus unless we eliminate boundaries to resources and share our know-how and hard-earned lessons. We hope that our donation can help Americans fight against the pandemic!”

This isn't the first time 55-year-old Ma, considered the richest man in Asia, has dipped into his own pockets to combat COVID-19.

On March 12, he announced that he would be sending 1.8 million face masks and 100,000 coronavirus test kits to European countries that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, including Spain and Italy.

National Post reported that a cargo plane loaded with 500,000 masks and other supplies, such as test kits, landed in Belgium on Friday and will now be sent to Italy.

Ma has also previously donated towards finding a vaccine for the coronavirus.

In January, he donated 100 million yuan ($14.4 million USD) through his foundation to Chinese scientists who are working to find a vaccine.

Another 20 million yuan ($2.8 million USD) was donated to both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering for the current research and development of virus vaccines. The foundation said any funds leftover will be used to support "prevention and treatment" measures.

On Friday, President Trump officially declared a national emergency to free up additional resources for federal, state and local governments to combat the pandemic.

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In the U.S. alone, 1.629 people have tested positive for the virus so far, and 41 patients have died. There is currently no vaccine available for the disease which WHO has officially characterized as a pandemic.

h/t: National Post, CNN