By Chris Tye

CHICAGO (CBS) —  A massive shipment of supplies to help fight COVID-19 arrived 90-minutes ago at O’Hare.

CBS 2’s Chris Tye was there and has the details.

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One state insider called this a wild west kind of mission. Another asked CBS 2 to keep quiet on the landing until it was completed, four minutes ahead of schedule.

And now two dozens pallets of the most crucial supplies are headed to Illinois’ front lines.

The flight from China couldn’t get to Illinois fast enough. Loaded with millions of masks and gloves for Illinois first responders. Security was said to be heightened around the FedEx plane out of an abundance of caution. Some said the feds may somehow intercept the precious cargo.

The state called it a herculean task. The flight which began in Shanghai cost Illinois taxpayers $888,000 according to state receipts. The flight saw its final leg take-off from Anchorage, Alaska at 10:00 a.m. Chicago time, landing just after 3:00 p.m. at O’Hare Field.

A flight Governor JB Pritzker’s office kept largely quiet.

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“We had a number of flights that had been chartered’ We’re bringing in the PPE as fast as we can. We’re looking forward to being able to count that toward our inventory,” Pritzker said.

A second flight with similar cargo scheduled for next week. Dubbed by some as secret flights to keep Washington from muddying the pricey delivery.

“It is true that the federal government seems to be interrupting supplies that are being sent elsewhere in the nation,” Pritzker said. “And so I wanted to make sure we receive what we ordered.”

The next task: dispensing the goods to the COVID-19 front lines in Illinois.

 

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