New York basketball legend Stephon Marbury says he's trying to use his Chinese connections to replenish city hospitals' dwindling supply of personal protective equipment.
Marbury plans to provide 10 million masks for area hospital workers on the front lines in the battle against the virus. He says the pandemic is personal to him.
"I've lost loved ones to this invisible monster," he told NBC New York on Sunday. "I have a cousin who died yesterday due to the coronavirus. My family is dealing with a very difficult time."
A Coney Island-native, Marbury, 43, played for the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks during his 13 years in the NBA. In the last decade, he revitalized his basketball career in Beijing, becoming one of China's most beloved basketball stars.
"I'm worried about New York," he continued. "I'm deeply concerned, so I'm here to do what I can do to help stop the spread of the virus."
While there is some data to suggest social distancing measures in New York have slowed the spread of COVID-19, city hospitals are nearing capacity. To make matters worse, members of the already strained medical workforce are starting to test positive for the virus as protective supplies like masks and gowns become scarce.
Marbury is working with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to source medical masks at about 1/3 the standard price.
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