The largest cargo flight in Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) history landed Saturday with hundreds of thousands of protective gowns to be shipped to the areas of greatest need both in New Hampshire and Veterans Affairs medical facilities across the country amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and a handful of other officials, including Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, greeted a FedEx charter flight aboard a Boeing 777 carrying 450,000 gowns.
"Today's PPE delivery - the fifteenth flight to touch down in New Hampshire, and the eighth shipment destined for VA facilities across the United States - emphasizes just how well prepared New Hampshire is," Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement. "We're incredibly proud of our national role in securing lifesaving PPE to ensure that veterans across the country - the men and women who stood tall for us - continue to receive the quality care they deserve. New Hampshire gets the job done like no other."
This is the eighth flight secured by the state of New Hampshire, with the help of inventor and Segway founder Dean Kamen and others, to have landed at the Manchester Airport carrying personal protective equipment.
The earlier equipment has since been distributed to the areas of greatest need across the state and country.
New Hampshire purchased the entire shipment of PPE, and will be reimbursed for the gowns delivered to the VA, according to a statement from Sununu's office.
"New Hampshire is the single most dependable source for PPE for the entire VA serving 9M Veterans and protecting our healthcare workers," read a statement from Deborah Scher, Executive Advisor to the Secretary, Secretary's Center for Strategic Partnerships, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs. "The department could not be more grateful."
To date, over 1,200 tons of PPE and critical supplies have been delivered to the Granite State aboard FedEx charter flights at MHT.
“FedEx team members have been working hard to keep supply chains moving, delivering critical supplies where and when they are needed most during this crisis," FedEx Express President and CEO Don Colleran said in a statement. "To add to the excitement, the arrival of today’s charter marks the first Boeing 777 cargo operation at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. Thank you to all those involved in this incredible achievement.”
On Saturday, the state's Department of Health and Human Services announced one new death and 35 new confirmed cases for COVID-19. There have now been 416 deaths and 6,613 cases of the virus diagnosed in New Hampshire to date, with several still under investigation.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.