Air Force flew 500,000 coronavirus test swabs from Italy to Tennessee

The U.S. Air Force has flown half a million coronavirus testing swabs from Italy to Tennessee, the branch’s top general revealed Wednesday.

Gen. David Goldfein told reporters at the Pentagon that the swabs landed in Memphis on Monday. They were transported across the Atlantic on an Air Force C-17 cargo plane and now will be distributed around the country, people familiar with the mission told Defense One.

A photo purportedly showing a C-17 stocked with pallets of testing kits was temporarily posted on Instagram by a user who claimed to be part of the mission’s crew, the website adds.

An Air Force C-17 cargo plane flew the coronavirus testing kits from Italy to Tennessee, reports say. (iStock)

An Air Force C-17 cargo plane flew the coronavirus testing kits from Italy to Tennessee, reports say. (iStock)

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As of Wednesday, 49 members of the U.S. military are reported to have coronavirus, seven of which are active-duty Air Force members.

“We know our cases will increase,” Goldfein said, noting the Air Force is “still conducting global missions” and flying fighter jets and bombers.

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He also mentioned how the branch is looking into helping the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if they ever request the relocation of coronavirus-positive patients.

The C-17 cargo planes have transportation isolation systems that first were used during the Ebola crisis. As of now though, they are only capable of moving less than 10 people at a time.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report. 

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