MINNESOTA– It looks like MyPillow, the company that crafts those comfy pillows, among other household goods, is joining in on helping address the shortage of face masks during the pandemic.
The Minnesota-based company announced via Twitter on March 24th that the company is working on creating face masks that can be utilized by hospitals.
The company is joining a budding group of private entities jumping in to tackle the lack of face masks U.S. healthcare employees are dealing with as the pandemic continues to increase in diagnosed cases of COVID-19.
MyPillow is excited to announce that we are now manufacturing face masks for hospitals across the country! pic.twitter.com/KcW4L7i9WC
— MyPillow (@MyPillowUSA) March 24, 2020
We’ve heard time and again that hospitals are trying to get appropriate inventory levels of the coveted N95 respirator mask. However, MyPillow did not detail as to whether that was the specific mask they were aiming to manufacture.
Entities like Honeywell and 3M are among those specifically slated to ramp up manufacturing of the N95 respirator masks.
Considering that hospitals have been inundated with complicated instances of COVID-19 infections, there seemingly isn’t enough of these masks to go around.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, stated that the company intends to donate millions of face masks in order to help the cause related to medical-supply shortages.
Our teams at Apple have been working to help source supplies for healthcare providers fighting COVID-19. We’re donating millions of masks for health professionals in the US and Europe. To every one of the heroes on the front lines, we thank you.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 21, 2020
Peter Gaynor, the FEMA Administrator, recently appeared on ABC News to discuss the ongoing issues related to the shortage of N95 masks. Gaynor noted that masks that have been obtained are already in the process of shipping, but also stated that certain areas of the U.S. will be prioritized:
“We are trying to focus those shipments on the most critical hotspots in the country. Place like New York City, Washington state, California; that is our priority.”
Pressed on when the national stockpile of masks will be distributed to health care systems, FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor tells @martharaddatz "it is happening," without offering a concrete timeline or quantity currently shipped. https://t.co/v9QowRWPnC pic.twitter.com/O64M5rPmNU
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 22, 2020
The demand for these masks is no joke. They’ve become such a needed item that they’ve now been the target of thefts. Law Enforcement Today recently told you about a case that popped up in Portland, Oregon involving these very masks.
With the recent rise of the pandemic affecting the world, things one would never consider at risk for theft are now being targeted.
In this case, several boxes of medical-grade protective respirators, called N95 masks, were stolen. Luckily, they were later recovered.
Thousands of N95 masks were stolen in Portland earlier this month. They have been recovered and one person has been arrested. pic.twitter.com/I55p8l6XJ6
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) March 22, 2020
Police in Oregon noted that thousands of these medical-grade masks were recovered, after approximately 20 cases of them were stolen on March 6th.
The estimated value of these masks was nearly $2,500.
Yet, with the secondary market vying to get their hands on supplies such as the above, who knows how much the alleged burglar could’ve made.
A nice turn of events: When the stolen masks were returned, they were donated to local hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic.https://t.co/qFe0Apmkf3
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 23, 2020
The theft was reported by The Rebuilding Center, according to the Portland Police Bureau.
The group, which functions as a construction and sustainability nonprofit, had noticed that a curious ad was placed on Craigslist one day after the masks were stolen from the center.
That ad allegedly was featuring the very boxes removed from their office. Staff from The Rebuilding Center had contacted police regarding the suspicious advertisement online, and a meeting was arranged with the seller.
Police came into contact with the seller, 42-year-old Vladislav V. Drozdek. He was arrested under charges of first-degree theft, with police having recovered six cases of the N95 masks during the bust.
BUSTED: An Oregon man is behind bars after attempting to sell stolen N95 respirator masks online. Those masks are now being sent to hospitals where they are needed. https://t.co/1ZDfAVQFxO
— KAPP-KVEW (@KAPPKVEW) March 23, 2020
Police also recovered an additional seven cases on March 21st inside of a home. Authorities indicated that the newly recovered cases could result in additional arrests and charges.
When the masks were returned to the rightful owners, The Rebuilding Center donated the once-pilfered masks to local area hospitals due to the massive shortage healthcare workers are experience with simple PPE.
Happily, this petty theft was resolved and turned into an act of kindness by the victims involved.
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