Legendary retailer Brooks Brothers announced Monday that it was latest American company to join the fight against the Wuhan coronavirus by converting its New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts factories to produce up to 150,000 masks per day.
“We consider this a duty, and part of our DNA at Brooks Brothers,” Claudio Del Vecchio, Chief Executive Officer, said in a press release on the move. “These are challenging times that are impacting us all. We are deeply grateful to the medical personnel at the frontlines who are fighting the pandemic, and we are honored to do our part and join our peers in retail to provide protective masks that our health care system critically needs. I also want to thank our dedicated manufacturing employees who are returning to work as we reopen our factories to make this possible.”
In addition to masks, the company plans to also produce protective gowns, with factories reopening this week following a two-week precautionary self-quarantine of workers. Brooks Brothers said it had worked closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to review prototypes and to expedite the approval process.
The Trump administration has attempted to solve shortages of personal health protection equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic, including threatening to prosecute those who x “fix prices.”
“The Department of Justice stands ready to make sure that bad actors do not take advantage of emergency response efforts, healthcare providers, or the American people during this crucial time,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement earlier this month. “I am committed to ensuring that the department’s resources are available to combat any wrongdoing and protect the public.”