Three Boeing Dreamlifters Transport PPE to South Carolina for COVID-19 Recovery Efforts Across the State
Thursday, May 14th, 2020
Boeing completed another set of COVID-19 airlift missions, deploying three Dreamlifter aircraft to transport more than 150,000 protective eye goggles and face shields from China to the United States. Boeing worked in partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to deliver the personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health care professionals in the MUSC system.
"Today's delivery puts essential personal protective equipment in the hands of South Carolina's frontline health care professionals and helps MUSC further support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun. "I am incredibly proud of our Boeing team members throughout the world for their work to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and thankful for our government and industry partners that have joined us in the pandemic response."
The MUSC Health team will use the PPE as they support the revitalization of the economy and ramp-up COVID-19 community outreach efforts, including diagnostic testing and antibody testing, across South Carolina. MUSC Health, under the guidance of the South Carolina Legislature and in partnership with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), has established mobile screening and collection sites in rural and underserved areas.
The mobile setup allows health care providers to rotate sites, reaching people experiencing barriers to health care access for COVID-19 screening. Rural and underserved communities have experienced disparities in access to COVID-19 screening, testing, prevention and treatment in South Carolina and across the U.S.
The MUSC Health team leading this effort were the first in the U.S. to launch a combined virtual urgent care platform and drive-through specimen collection site. They are now bringing a version of this successful model to the communities that need it most.
"On behalf of our entire MUSC family, I'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Boeing team for helping to make today's critical PPE shipment possible," said MUSC President, David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. "These goggles and face shields will allow us to continue to expand our ability to test and monitor for COVID-19 as businesses and communities start to move forward. Increasing access to testing in the areas of greatest need throughout our state is an essential part of this work. We must continue to protect our most vulnerable populations. Boeing and MUSC have a longstanding partnership, and today's delivery is yet another example of two great South Carolina institutions coming together in support of our local community."
Similar to previous airlift missions flown by the Dreamlifter – a converted Boeing 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter – the medical cargo was transported in the lower lobe of all three aircraft, while 787 component parts were flown in the main deck cargo hold. Boeing donated the cost of the mission transport, with Atlas Air operating the flights on behalf of Boeing. Boeing has scheduled additional flights, to deliver a total of 400,000 units of PPE to MUSC, in the near future.