New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft helped to secure and arrange for more than 1.7 million N95 masks to be delivered to hospitals in Massachusetts and New York, government and team officials said.

The initial shipment of approximately 1.2 million masks is scheduled to arrive Thursday afternoon in Boston from China and is being carried by the Patriots’ team plane.

“It is an honor for our family to be a part of this humanitarian mission,” Kraft said in a written statement issued through the Patriots. “We knew that purchasing greatly needed N95 masks and providing the Patriots plane to expedite their delivery to local hospitals would immediately help protect our courageous health care professionals.”

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) posted a photo on Twitter of supplies alongside the Patriots’ plane and wrote: “No days off. Thanks to some serious teamwork, Massachusetts is set to receive over 1 million N95 masks for our front-line workers. Huge thanks to the Krafts and several dedicated partners for making this happen.”

The involvement of Kraft and the Patriots was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Overburdened health-care workers have cited shortages of personal protective equipment amid the global novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Kraft family is paying $2 million of the approximately $4 million cost of the masks. Kraft and his son, Patriots executive Jonathan Kraft, teamed with the state to purchase 1.4 million masks for Massachusetts. Robert Kraft also purchased 300,000 masks for New York.

The 500,000 masks not included in Thursday’s initial shipment are expected to arrive in the United States as soon as next week.

“Multiple organizations across the public and private sectors, all of which were in lockstep with Governor Charlie Baker’s visionary leadership, worked together to execute this mission with the purpose of helping save lives,” Kraft said. “I truly hope that in doing so, we can in some way inspire others to find creative ways to give more in support of our doctors, nurses and first responders. It’s nice to care for those who provide such compassionate care for us.”