Boeing on May 11 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.
Boeing continues to support local communities and the heroic health care professionals working tirelessly to stop the spread of COVID-19. Boeing is coordinating closely with U.S. government officials on how to best assist areas with the greatest need.
“We are grateful for the role Boeing continues to play in collaborating with our health care professionals to help ensure our frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 have the equipment they need to stay safe while caring for our people.” – South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster
“I want to thank all those who worked so hard to ensure this shipment of critical PPE is arriving in Charleston today. Protecting our frontline health care workers, who put their lives on the line every single day, is absolutely essential, and this will help MUSC do exactly that.” – Sen. Tim Scott
“Our frontline health care workers have proven themselves to be the heroes of the crisis we are facing, and the folks at MUSC are a great example of that. I am immensely grateful for all the work they have done to care for South Carolinians. We’ve seen Americans rise to meet the immense challenges we are facing time and time again, and companies like Boeing are no exception. Thank you for ensuring that our frontline health care professionals have the necessary resources to fight this virus.” – Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01)
“I am grateful to the Boeing Dreamlifters for bringing PPE to MUSC. In this time of incredible uncertainty, I am thankful to see private and public organizations come together to help keep our community healthy and safe. As a native Charlestonian, I know firsthand that MUSC Health works hard to protect our families, especially now from the coronavirus, and they will continue to help our community recover from this pandemic. I appreciate Boeing for supporting such an important cause.” – Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02)
“It’s incredible to see American companies rise to meet the numerous challenges our nation faces in this battle against COVID-19. I’m particularly proud of Boeing for airlifting personal protective equipment to South Carolina for the MUSC hospital system. MUSC Lancaster and MUSC Chester are two critical health care facilities in South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District and I’m extremely grateful for them, as well as companies like Boeing who are working hard behind the scenes to support our nation’s health care efforts.” – Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05)
“I’m grateful for the dedicated workers we have in South Carolina – from the manufacturing lines to the front lines – and today’s delivery is another example of how South Carolinians come together. Being able to expand our testing efforts at this level is critical in helping us tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and care for our community. Team work across industries and organizations demonstrates the spirit of our State. Thank you to everyone, especially MUSC and Boeing, who made today’s vital delivery possible.” – South Carolina State Senator Marlon Kimpson (District 42)
“Through the generosity and logistical might of Boeing, our local health care providers are receiving much needed equipment to keep them safe while they care for the most vulnerable in our community. We should all be inspired by the efforts of Boeing and their teammates, because together, all challenges can be met.” – North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey.