First federal airlift to NY tri-state area includes millions of gloves, masks

 

The first federal airlift to the New York tri-state area touched down on Sunday with millions of gloves and masks and other medical supplies needed in the fight against the coronavirus, according to multiple reports

The flight from Shanghai landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport with supplies mostly designated for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, with some going to nursing homes and other high-risk areas.

The plane delivered 12 million gloves, 130,000 N95 masks, 1.7 million surgical masks, 50,000 gowns, 130,00 hand sanitizer units and 36,000 thermometers, according to the news reports. 

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Approximately 20 airlifts are reportedly planned through early April in what might become the largest government-led airlift of emergency medical supplies into the U.S.

The flights were organized by a team led by White House senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerAbraham Accords: New hope for peace in Middle East Tenants in Kushner building file lawsuit alleging dangerous living conditions Trump hosts Israel, UAE, Bahrain for historic signing MORE and Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, who heads the coronavirus supply chain at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

“At President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE’s direction we formed an unprecedented public-private partnership to ensure that massive amounts of masks, gear and other PPE will be brought to the United States immediately to better equip our health care workers on the front lines and to better serve the American people,” Kushner said in a statement, obtained by Reuters. 

Polowczyk, meanwhile, told Axios on Saturday that he’s booked 22 similar flights during the next two weeks. Normally, the supplies would arrive by ship, which would take 37 days.

"We have essentially a flight a day, mostly from Asia,” he said.

“I'm hoping this is only a two-, three-week effort, but it may be a month's worth ... but I don't know of another effort like this,” he added. 

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Polowczyk also told Axios that lawmakers are pressuring him to nationalize the supply chain with the Defense Production Act, but he is avoiding it so he doesn’t have to recreate the existing supply chain involving six or seven big distributors. 

The plane’s arrival was first reported by Reuters. 

Governors and medical professionals are pleading for more medical supplies as the coronavirus sweeps the nation and hits the New York tri-state area particularly hard. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have documented a total of more than 64,900 cases of coronavirus, with more than 1,000 deaths.