United Airlines partners with Governor Newsom to fly medical volunteers to California to fight COVID-19

United Airlines has made this announcement:

United Airlines has partnered with Governor Newsom to provide free, round-trip flights for medical volunteers traveling to California to help in the frontline fight against the COVID-19 crisis. The airline is working closely with the state of California to coordinate travel for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals from across the country to help treat patients, in this time of unprecedented need.

“I want to thank United Airlines for stepping in in a big way to help health care professionals. We couldn’t be more grateful for their largesse and support,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom in a press conference today.

California currently has more than 18,309 confirmed coronavirus cases and 507 fatalities in the state to-date. Bringing medical volunteers to the state will help bring much needed support to California’s medical professionals and the more than 2,825 individuals hospitalized, including the 1,132 people in intensive care.

“Our frontline healthcare workers are heroes. We are profoundly grateful to them for their unwavering commitment to support our communities and medical providers at this time of exceptional need,” said Janet Lamkin, President, California for United Airlines. “It is our hope that providing air travel at no cost will allow additional courageous volunteers and first responders the ability to reach health care facilities throughout California, which continues to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

United is working with the state of California to ensure qualified medical professionals are staffed in hospitals best suited to their areas of expertise and have the proper housing and transportation to enable them to effectively offer their services.

United remains committed to offering as many flights as possible to connect much-needed medical professionals to the frontlines in California, with 50 daily flights into SFO and 13 daily flights at LAX. The airline plans to expand this program to critical areas within the coming days and weeks to allow more volunteers to offer their vitally important services in the places that need them most.

Those interested in volunteering or learning more about the program can visit the California State website here.

In other news, United is operating medical supplies charter flights:

By Matt Adams, April 08, 2020

As the COVID-19 crisis has evolved, United’s cargo operation has emerged as a critical conduit for getting life-saving goods where they’re needed most.

Last week, we helped Flexport.org, the social impact arm of a freight forwarder based in San Francisco, import two shipments of medical and personal protective equipment (PPE) destined for New York and California. The first of those loads arrived in San Francisco from Shanghai aboard a chartered United Boeing 787-9 on Wednesday. It contained 1,000 ventilators, 70,000 goggles and 300,000 masks, all of which were donated by Alibaba cofounder and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai and his wife, Clara Wu Tsai. Those items were then put on a United 777 and flown to EWR, where they were distributed to 14 hospitals, medical centers and nursing homes in the New York City region.

The second shipment came into San Francisco the following day containing surgical gowns, hazmat suits and several million more masks for first responders in California. United employees unloaded that aircraft upon arrival and helped get the PPE onto trucks for delivery to Bay Area hospitals.

We are operating, on average, 20 cargo-only flights each day between six U.S. hubs and cities in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. In the process of doing so, we are moving thousands of pounds of medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and PPE, in addition to those mentioned above, to help stem the spread of COVID-19 and treat those afflicted.

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