Under Armour is turning its skills in clothing-making to mask-making as it becomes the latest brand to join the fight against COVID-19.
The sports clothing manufacturer announced today that it aims to produce 500,000 protective masks, and 50,000 specially equipped fanny packs for local medical staff in Maryland, where the company is based.
America, like many countries in the world, is rushing to fill the potential shortage of protective masks as it prepares for the onslaught of the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
A number of other companies, including Brooks Brothers, MyPillow, Honeywell, and Gap have shifted production to masks.
Baltimore-based Under Armour said that their product is a one-piece mask that does not require sewing. “Its origami-style folds mold the specially chosen, breathable yet moisture-resistant fabric into the desired mask shape,” said the company statement.
Under Armour said that they expect to be able to produce 100,000 masks a week.
Brooks Brothers announced today that its factories in New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts will switch from producing ties, shirts, and suits to pumping out thousands of masks and gowns.
Brooks Brothers said it will eventually be able to produce up to 150,000 masks per day.
While healthcare workers wear masks while caring for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients, people who aren’t sick have not yet been advised by the government to don them.
Other companies have also been switching production to ventilators which help those infected with the CCP virus who are struggling to breathe.
The UK-based maker of luxury household goods, Dyson, designed a new ventilator from scratch after being asked by the British government.
Best known for its radical, chic re-designs of the vacuum cleaner, the fan, and hairdryer, Dyson drew on its expertise in airflow to design a new ventilator especially for COVID-19 patients.
In the United States, Ford and General Motors are producing ventilators at the behest of the Trump administration.
President Trump last week used the Defense Production Act to lean on GM to speed up the production of ventilators it was already contracted to make for the government.
In a statement, Trump said, “Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course. GM was wasting time.”
GM has partnered with Ventec Life Systems, a manufacturer of the ventilators, to expand the production capacity for the devices.
“Ventec, GM and our supply base have been working around the clock for weeks to meet this urgent need,” GM stated in an emailed response to Trump’s announcement. “Our commitment to build Ventec’s high-quality critical care ventilator, VOCSN, has never wavered.”
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Author: Simon Veazey