3M to send 500,000 respirators to New York, Seattle
The 3M Company will send 500,000 respirators to New York and Seattle as the cities combat the COVID-19 outbreak, its CEO announced in a statement Sunday.
3M CEO and Chairman Mike Roman said in a statement that the American company has doubled its global output to 1.1 billion N95 respirators per year, amounting to 100 million per month. Factories in the U.S. alone are developing 35 million respirators per month.
Roman said that more than 90 percent of those respirators are going to health care workers, with the other portion going to other industries “critical in this pandemic,” like energy, food and pharmaceutical companies.
“As I write this, more than 500,000 respirators are on the way from our South Dakota plant to two of the more critically impacted areas, New York and Seattle, with arrivals expected starting tomorrow,” he said in the statement. “We are also ready to expedite additional shipments across the country.”
The company is aiming to double its global capacity to 2 billion within the next year. 3M is working with the U.S. and other governments to see if other manufacturing strategies or partnerships can expedite doubling the capacity.
Roman also said the company has maximized the production of other products related to fighting the virus, like hand sanitizers and disinfectants.
“We are all in this together, and 3M will continue to do all we can to help protect lives and get the world through this crisis,” he said in the release.
3M’s announcement came as state leaders are calling on the federal government to access medical supplies as hospitals and other health care facilities experience a lack of equipment because of the growing number of cases.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called on the federal government Sunday to order the manufacturing of medical supplies, so states do not have to battle each other to get access.
New York and Washington states have been hit hard by the virus, with more than 15,000 cases and almost 2,000 cases, respectively. New York state has seen the most deaths with 117 followed by Washington state with 94, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
King County, which encompasses Seattle, has recorded 934 cases and 74 deaths alone.
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