Huge brands and designers are all stepping up to address global shortages of ventilators, hand sanitizer, face masks, and gowns


Well-known member
Dec 11, 2018
Countries across the globe are facing unprecedented shortages of healthcare supplies needed to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. Nurses without gowns have started wearing garbage bags. Healthcare workers are running out of masks and have been told to use scarves or bandanas instead. Doctors desperately need ventilators, or machines that help people unable to breathe on their own.
Leaders like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have been sounding the alarm and a number of businesses are already responding.
Here are 16 major companies that have already stepped up to the plate to help meet critical shortages.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the electric car company had bought hundreds of ventilators from China and shipped them to the US.
elon musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Xinhua via Getty Images
"China had an oversupply, so we bought 1,255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators on Friday night & air shipped them to LA," Musk tweeted late Monday night.
Musk said Wednesday that the company's factory in Buffalo, New York, will open "as soon as humanly possible" to produce more ventilators there.

Dyson will produce 10,000 ventilators for the UK and donate another 5,000.
James Dyson

James Dyson, founder of Dyson. AP Photo/Rob Bennett
Dyson, the company known for its vacuums, said it has received an emergency order from the United Kingdom for 10,000 ventilators, according to CNN. The company has already designed a new ventilator and plans on creating an additional 5,000 to donate internationally.
"This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently, and at volume," Dyson wrote in a statement.

Apple will donate millions of masks to healthcare workers.
Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook. Stephen Lam/Reuters
Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted: "Proud to share we've been able to source 10M masks for the US and millions more for the hardest hit regions in Europe. Our ops teams are helping to find and purchase masks from our supply chain in coordination with governments around the world."
Ford, GE, and 3M are partnering to build ventilators and protective equipment.
FILE PHOTO - The Ford logo is seen at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Ford is providing technical and production efforts to make a simplified design of GE Healthcare's existing ventilator, according to a press release. The car manufacturer is also providing engineers and facilities to help boost production of 3M's PAPR, or powered air-purifying respirators, for healthcare workers.

General Motors and Ventec Life Systems are partnering to build ventilators, and the car manufacturer will soon start producing more than 50,000 face masks per day.
Mary Barra

GM's CEO Mary Barra Bill Pugliano / Stringer
Ventec Life Systems and General Motors are partnering to build VOCSN critical care ventilators at GM's Kokomo, Indiana, manufacturing facility. The FDA-cleared ventilators are scheduled to ship "as soon as" April, according to a press release.
"Ventec and GM are poised to deliver the first ventilators next month and ramp up to a manufacturing capacity of more than 10,000 critical care ventilators per month with the infrastructure and capability to scale further," the statement read.
In addition, the companies will, over the next two weeks, ramp up production of face masks to the tune of 50,000 masks or more per day.
This announcement comes after President Trump accused GM, in a tweet, of moving too slowly and charging too much for the equipment. GM said it was waiting for the federal government to place orders to start production, according to Bloomberg.
GM said in a statement that it will be "donating its resources at cost."
Inditex, owner of the retail store Zara, announced that it will donate masks to coronavirus patients and health officials in Spain.

AP Photo/Manu Fernandez
The fashion giant said it's also looking into converting factories to manufacture hospital gowns, Business Insider previously reported.

The maker of Absolut Vodka and Jameson Irish Whiskey said it is converting facilities to produce hand sanitizer.
hand sanitizer

Deliris/Getty Images
Pernod Ricard, the producer of Absolut Vodka and Jameson Irish Whiskey, said it will start to produce hand sanitizer at all its US distilleries, Business Insider's Jessica Snouwaert reported.
Luxury conglomerate LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton, turned its perfume factories into hand sanitizer manufacturers.
Louis Vuitton

Photo by JARRY TRIPELON/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
The move will help combat the shortage of sanitizer in France, Business Insider reported.

Brandon Maxwell and Christian Siriano are using their staff to make personal protective equipment like face masks and gowns.
Christian Siriano

Fashion designer Christian Siriano Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows
The fashion designers have responded to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's request for help meeting supply demands, Business Insider's Celia Fernandez reported.
"If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some. I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help," Siriano tweeted.
So far, Siriano's team has made over 1,000 masks in three days.

Unilever will donate soap and sanitizer to the World Economic Forum's emergency task force.
FILE PHOTO: Unilever headquarters in Rotterdam, Netherlands August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

As part of a 100-million euro COVID-19 response plan, Unilever will donate at least 50 million euros worth of soaps and hand sanitizer to the World Economic Forum and the World Health Organization's emergency task force that's working with companies and governments globally to respond to the pandemic.
In addition, Unilever will use its current manufacturing lines to produce sanitizer for use in hospitals, schools and other institutional settings, according to a press release.

Prada is making 80,000 hospital gowns and 110,000 masks for healthcare professionals.
Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada

Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada, Prada co-CEOs. Bobby Yip/REUTERS
Additionally, Prada co-CEOs Muiccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, alongside the brand's chairman Carlo Mazzi, have donated two resuscitation and complete intensive care units to three hospitals in Milan, according to a press release sent to Business Insider.
Prudential donated over 150,000 N95 respirators and face masks.
Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial has donated 153,000 face masks — including 75,000 N95 respirators — for healthcare workers in New Jersey. The company has also committed $1.5 million in funding for local businesses and community support, both in the US and internationally, according to a press release.

Richard Branson's rocket company, Virgin Orbit, has made a prototype of a ventilator and is hoping to start mass production in April.
richard branson

Richard Branson, founder and chairman of Virgin Group. Getty Images
Virgin Orbit has partnered with medical researchers at the University of California Irvine and the University of Texas at Austin to develop a ventilator device, according to a press release. The prototype is pending approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, but according to Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart, the company is hoping to start production in April.
"We are all heartbroken each night as we turn on the news and see the predicament facing doctors and nurses as they heroically work to save lives," Hart said, in the press release. "I have never seen our team working harder. Never seen ideas moving quicker from design to prototype. We are hopeful that this device can help as we all prepare for the challenges ahead."
Luxury menswear company Brooks Brothers announced it will produce 150,000 masks daily.
Brooks Brothers

The retailer is in the process of converting its New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts factories from manufacturing ties, shirts, and suits to making masks and gowns. Brooks Brothers plans to produce 150,000 masks daily, as well as an undisclosed number of hospital gowns, according to a press release.


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