The COVID-19 pandemic continues, and with every passing day, we hear about more individuals, communities and businesses finding new innovative solutions to help combat the ongoing crisis. It is heartwarming when you see people share supplies or raise money for those out of work, but when you see large corporations get involved, it hits differently. You begin to have a renewed faith in society’s capabilities during times of need. Across the globe, companies are shifting from their normal production to manufacturing products that directly help fight against the novel Coronavirus. This has proven very effective so far, but how did this all start?
Defense Production Act
The Defense Production Act (DPA) was a law established during the Korean War that gives the government more control over industrial production. Although this law has been used regularly by the Department of Defense for military supplies, this is the first time it has been used for a public health pandemic. Under this Act, the President can require manufacturers to accept contracts to produce high priority goods, provide incentives to produce high priority goods, and control who receives these goods first.
The President has been urging companies to shift production of goods under the authority of DPA, and accept these government contracts; however, many companies are shifting their manufacturing efforts without requests. Before this law could be enforced, dozens of U.S. companies started making plans for producing ventilators, face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and care packages for people affected by the pandemic.
Who is Doing This?
Automakers, around the world have shifted their production lines from automobiles to producing vital medical equipment. General Motors (GM) was the first company approached by the president due to their production capabilities. GM is now making ventilators and stated that they will produce 50,000 medical masks a day. Ford quickly followed with an announcement to partner with General Electric Healthcare to produce 50,000 ventilators within the following 100 days. Ford has also begun producing 100,000 3-D printed face shields per week that will be used by healthcare workers and first responders.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has teamed up with Exor and Ferrari to manufacture ventilators and face shields for global relief. They are sending these ventilators around the globe to areas most affected by COVID-19, such as Italy. We have seen similar actions taken by Toyota and Tesla in creating ventilators and medical masks. Tesla actually purchased their own ventilators and donated them to hospitals with greater demand.
However, we have seen throughout these trying times, you don’t have to be a large, multi-million-dollar corporation to help. In fact, Evans has been fortunate enough to work with Great Lakes Sewing Company, a small sewing company located in Rochester, Michigan. They specialize in product design and production of branded apparel and were able to sew safety masks for all our workers across our seven warehouses. By shifting their production to safety masks, they have helped us keep our workers safe, and allowed us to keep providing needed logistics services to our customers.
Breweries and distilleries have also joined relief efforts by making hand sanitizers for hospitals and pharmacies experiencing shortages. From large to small, you see companies like Anheuser-Busch, Molson Coors, Jack Daniels and Bacardi donating hand sanitizer and alcohol for medical purposes. In addition, many microbreweries and smaller distilleries are following suit and donating to local hospitals in their respected regions.
There are many more companies contributing to making these highly needed supplies, and provides updates on these companies regularly that you can find here.
As new information surrounding COVID-19 is unveiled every day, businesses continue to adapt to help us overcome the challenges the world faces today. It is thanks to the essential workers in all industries that we have been able to make so much progress so quickly in addressing this pandemic. We want to thank all the manufacturers for contributing in this relief effort, all the medical industry workers who have been working hard around the clock, and everyone who is working during this time to continue to provide necessary services to everyone. Also, a special thank you to all our employees here at Evans Distribution Systems, who have adapted and continue to work hard. When we all come together, we can overcome any challenge.