Samaritan's Purse donates over 17,000 pounds of medical supplies to Alaska

Published: Apr. 6, 2020 at 10:23 PM AKDT
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Evangelical humanitarian organization

has been fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic around the world. Now, it’s aid has arrived in Alaska.

“They arrived with a large cargo aircraft and delivered more than 17,000 pounds of medial supplies,” said Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Public Information Officer Jeremy Zidek.

Supplies include hospital beds with mattresses, surgical masks, examination gloves, and digital thermometers.

“Those supplies will go out to our hub communities to get our rural communities prepared for what we do believe is the eventual arrival of this virus into rural Alaska,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy, R-Alaska, at a press conference Monday.

Samaritan’s Purse has a long history with Alaska. The founder, Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, has a home in Port Alsworth, and the group operates a lodge for veterans and their spouses on Lake Clark. They’ve also constructed a number of facilities in other areas of the state.

“Samaritan's Purse has been operating in Alaska for many many years, and they do a lot of work around rural Alaska,” said State Incident Commander Bryan Fisher. “So it was their request that we partner with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium."

Through ANTHC, the supplies will be sent to a number of organizations around the state, building important stockpiles of the equipment.

“These types of supplies that Samaritan's Purse have provided us are in short supply, not only here in Alaska, for the nation, but really worldwide,” Zidek said.

Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink also said Monday that they're prioritizing making sure all of Alaska has the right supplies, but because of the distance, it made sense to stock up rural Alaska early.

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