America’s economy has transformed into a wartime economy. Companies are quickly changing over production lines to produce medical equipment that will aid first responders and health care systems with tools to win the fight against COVID-19.
Ford, GM, and Tesla have already pledged to make ventilators, mobilizing thousands of employees and erecting factories that could start producing these life-saving machines in the near term.
Under Armour is another company that is transforming some of its production lines to manufacture face masks, shields, and specialized fanny packs to support health care workers in the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area, reported Maryland Daily Record.
The Baltimore-based sports apparel brand has held discussions with Johns Hopkins, MedStar Health, LifeBridge Health, and other regional care organizations about distributing face masks and other medical equipment to health care workers.
Under Armour expects to produce 100,000 masks per week.
“When the call came in from our local medical providers for more masks, gowns and supply kits, we just went straight to work,” Randy Harward, senior vice president of Advanced Material and Manufacturing Innovation at Under Armour, said in a statement.
“More than 50 Under Armour teammates from materials scientists to footwear and apparel designers from laboratories in Baltimore and Portland quickly came together in search of solutions,” Harward said.
Under Armour is set to bring on the new capacity of face masks in the very near term as shortages of protective gear at US hospital systems persist through the end of March.
We noted that shortages of protective gear at major hospital systems are so bad at the moment, that doctors and nurses have gone to local news oulets and social media to voice their concerns about a failing system. This has led to the firing of some health care workers, as their employers do not want the public to know about the horrid conditions.
In Maryland, more than 1,660 people have tested positive for the virus, with 18 recorded deaths. Across the country, there are 165,874 confirmed cases and 3,178 deaths. The virus could peak next month, but it is anyone’s guess when the curve flattens. Even then, there’s a risk that the virus will return in several waves.
Under Armour isn’t the only company making masks and protective gear, CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla has the full list:
Now in the mask/gown business:
* Brooks Brothers
* Neiman Marcus
* Eddie Bauer
* Ralph Lauren
* Canada Goose
* L.L. Bean https://t.co/vFbcNbDGj1
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) March 31, 2020
Americans better start getting used to wearing masks – it could become the new normal.