More than half-a-million medical-grade face masks were delivered to New Hampshire on Saturday, the governor's office said, the second such delivery in as many weekends.
Gov. Chris Sununu was on hand to greet the Boeing 737-700 filled with approximately 540,000 masks, according to a statement from his office. The personal protective equipment shipment is part of the same deal that Segway inventor Dean Kamen facilitated last week that brought 91,000 pounds of PPE to New Hampshire on Sunday, the statement said.
"Another life-saving delivery of PPE has arrived in New Hampshire,” Sununu said. “Thanks to Dean Kamen for facilitating this deal, and to Boeing for donating the cost of this mission transport. The state will deliver these masks to the greatest areas of need across New Hampshire so those on the frontline have the necessary resources to fight COVID19.”
Sununu was joined at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport by Kamen, Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun and members of New Hampshire's congressional delegation, according to his office.
The Granite State purchased the PPE shipment and will be distributing the supplies to the places across the state that need it the most, according to the governor's office. Those who receive the masks will not be charged, Sununu's office said. The shipment is part of the state's ongoing effort to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Boeing paid to transport the PPE, marking the company’s first cargo transport mission on a company-owned corporate jet.
"I want to personally thank Governor Sununu, the entire New Hampshire congressional delegation and Dean Kamen for their leadership in helping secure and distribute this much-needed personal protective equipment for our frontline healthcare workers and first responders here in New Hampshire," Calhoun said. "We are honored to have conducted today's airlift mission and we look forward to providing continued support in the fight against this pandemic."
Last week, Sununu hailed Kamen hailed as a hero for arranging the deal after he learned of an opportunity to buy high-quality PPE from China, purchased it on behalf of New Hampshire and arranged for it to be shipped over.
“We worked around the clock, scoured the earth, and left no stone unturned to ensure New Hampshire has the resources it needs to combat this pandemic," Sununu said.
Saturday, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced 56 new cases of the virus and one additional death related to COVID-19.
The majority of the cases are in Rockingham County residents.
To date, state health officials have reported 1,342 coronavirus cases and 38 deaths.