‘We would be honored to donate our facility…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Democrats and media personalities demanded that President Donald Trump marshall the federal government’s power to force companies to respond to the Wuhan virus pandemic, but American companies, by their own initiative, are meeting the challenge.
A medical device company in Denver, North Carolina usually manufactures transplant supplies, but they have switched to making ventilators amid the rise in COVID-19 patients who need breathing support, WCNC reported.
“It’s been all hands on deck 24/7, there’s not been a lot of sleep,” Sherif Gabriel, CEO of BioMed Innovations, said. “Seven days ago we realized that the core technology in our profusion system could be utilized to make a highly efficient low-cost ventilator and ideally help COVID-19 patients.”
Company officials said they have developed a prototype, which they will construct with the help of local organizations — including a NASCAR team — but they are waiting on the FDA to approve the model.
There are only 46 ventilators in the surrounding three counties of Chester, York, and Lancaster, but BioMed Innovations will make 1,000 ventilators per week starting in the next few weeks.
Gabriel said the team is “thrilled to make such a contribution.”
Major manufacturers, including Ford, GM, and Tesla, have all stepped up to make ventilators and personal protective equipment, such as face masks, for hospital workers and COVID-19 patients, The Verge reported.
Ford is partnering with 3M to produce “powered air-purifying respirator” (PAPR) masks and General Electric to produce ventilators.
General Motors is working with Ventec Life Systems to create ventilators.
Tesla bought 1,000 ventilators from China’s stockpile and sent them to California.
In New York, a menswear company has shifted production to make personal protective equipment for healthcare workers at a loss to the company, Fox News reported.
“In a matter of days, we built a prototype of the surgical curtain supplied to us by Rochester General [Hospital] and, within a week, had delivered the first 10,000. We’re ramping up to hopefully produce 300,000 as quickly as we can,” CEO Stephen Granovksy said Friday on “Fox and Friends.”
Granovsky said he hopes the federal government will come through with higher payments on future orders.
“We desperately need a buyer that is either statewide or even better, national, that can coordinate not only proven prototypes but providing the budget because, let’s face it, American manufacturing is more expensive than the traditional Chinese manufacturing that this industry is used to,” he said.
Back in North Carolina, a Charlotte information technology company called Cloverhound is creating a telehealth platform for a New York hospital system, WSOC-TV reported.
The online portal will allow doctors to remotely conduct triage and scheduling.
“Emergency rooms are completely swamped,” Cloverhound CEO Chad Stachowicz said. “Before you would come into the hospital, if you have questions, if they can triage over video live. Another big part of this is allowing the normal operations of the hospital not involved with COVID-19 to continue to treat patients normally but do that remotely so there is less possibility of spread.”
Gun manufacturer Remington, located in Ilion, New York, shut down operations last Friday due to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order, but the comapny said it can reopen to manufacture medical supplies, The Democrat and Chronicle reported.
“The Remington plant in Ilion now has approximately one million square feet of unused and available manufacturing space,” CEO Ken D’Arcy said in a letter to Cuomo and Trump on March 23. “We would be honored to donate our facility to the production of ventilators, surgical masks, hospital beds or any other products mission-critical to the war on coronavirus.”
D’Arcy said “ventilators are essential to winning this new kind of war and Remington stands ready to enlist in wartime production.”
Cuomo said the sate needs 30,000 ventilators but has only 7,000 on hand.
Yet, Remington has not yet received the go ahead to begin production.
MyPillow Founder and CEO Mike Lindell announced that he is shifting 75 percent of his company’s capacity to manufacturing face masks.
“We have capacity to make a lot of things at big rates and we’re going to be going hopefully from 10,000 units a day to 50,000 units a day in a very short period of time,” he said, according to FOX 9 of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Mattress company Eclipse International will make 38,000 masks and provide them free of charge to a hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Fox News reported.
“I’m not trying to sell masks,” President and CEO Stuart Carlitz said. “Whether it’s a dollar apiece or four dollars apiece, that’s not going to change my business. I’m going to donate the masks.”