Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, several major brands are stepping up to help protect healthcare workers who are on the frontlines battling the virus.
In a March 24 conference call, Nike CEO John Donahoe announced that the company was exploring ways to design personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.
"Based on needs identified by the teams and health professionals at Oregon Health and Science University, our teammates are working right now about how to best help, including prototyping face shields of OHSU and others," said Donahoe. "It's been so energizing to see the quick-strike efforts of the cross-functional team to try to help with this critical need. That said, we expect the next several weeks to be a challenging period for those living in the US and Europe, and I can't precisely predict how long the containment phase of the outbreak will last. But our experience in China, Japan, and South Korea gives us confidence that we will see the other side of this crisis soon."
Car manufacturing company Toyota announced in a press release that they are making 3-D printed face shields and also "collaborating with medical device companies to speed the manufacture of ventilators, respirators and other vital devices for hospitals."
"Toyota's core value has always been to contribute to society in meaningful ways beyond providing mobility for our customers," said Ted Ogawa, incoming CEO, TMNA, in the statement. "With our plants idled and our dealers focused on servicing customers, we are eager to contribute our expertise and know-how to help quickly bring to market the medical supplies and equipment needed to combat the COVID crisis. Our message to the medical equipment community is we are here to help, and please utilize our expertise."
In a video posted on his Twitter account, tech giant Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, said the company has begun designing and producing face shields.
Apple is dedicated to supporting the worldwide response to COVID-19. We’ve now sourced over 20M masks through our supply chain. Our design, engineering, operations and packaging teams are also working with suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for medical workers. pic.twitter.com/3xRqNgMThX
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 5, 2020
Fanatics Chairman Michael Rubin announced on his Twitter page that the apparel company halted the production of jerseys and instead are making face masks.
Fast forward to today – @Fanatics and @MLB have halted production of all MLB jerseys and instead using that same fabric we make the jerseys with to make masks and gowns!! We have approx 100 associates working (extra distanced and in a very clean and safe environment of course) pic.twitter.com/E8ewI0REfn
— Michael Rubin (@MichaelGRubin) March 26, 2020
Ford announced they are partnering with 3M, GE Healthcare, UAW to make respirators, ventilators, and face masks.
General Motors said they are joining up with Ventec Life Systems to build ventilators.
Baltimore based company Under Armour said in a statement that they would be supporting the University of Maryland Medical System's 28,000 healthcare providers and staff by manufacturing and assembling face masks, face shields, and specially equipped fanny packs.
According to CNN , British tech giant Dyson will design and build 10,000 ventilators after the UK government ordered them.