Companies join coronavirus fight by helping health care workers

Companies are filling the shortage of essential medical supplies

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From distilleries to makeup manufacturers, companies across the nation have shifted operations to support health care workers in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

As the world faces a shortage in critical medical supplies created by the rapidly spreading virus, businesses have launched efforts to donate supplies from ventilators, respirators, masks to hand sanitizer. Other companies have taken the initiative to manufacture their own products.

Here are some of the companies that have pledged support to those on the front lines of this fight.

A health care worker with the UNLV School of Medicine tests a patient for the coronavirus at a drive-thru testing site Tuesday in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Airbnb 

Airbnb launched a global initiative to provide health care professionals, relief workers and first responders free or subsidized housing. The company hopes to help house about 100,000 workers on the front lines of the fight against the virus. Airbnb will waive all fees for stays arranged through this initiative, the company announced Thursday.

“Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help,” Airbnb’s co-founder Joe Gebbia said. “We’ve heard from countless hosts around the world who want to provide a comforting home to heroic first responders. We are connecting our nonprofit partners, government agencies and others with our incredible host community to work together in these extraordinary times.”

Hosts who provide homes will be asked to follow strict cleanliness protocols based on recommendations from medical experts.

The company is also partnering with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps and other nonprofit organizations to help support their workers.

Apple

Apple has sourced and is donating 10 million masks to the medical community across the United States and the hardest-hit areas in Europe, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced on Twitter.

"These people deserve our debt of gratitude for all of the work they are doing on the front lines," he said. “It’s in these toughest times that we show our greatest strength and I know that we will rise to the occasion."

The company also raised $15 million worldwide "to help treat those who are sick and to help lessen the economic and community impacts of the pandemic," Apple said.

The company is also matching employee donations two-to-one to support the company's COVID-19 response efforts.

Barco

The health care apparel company is donating 10,000 scrubs each month for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic to professionals on the front lines.

"We are launching our scrub donation program to show our sincere thanks and demonstrate our immense gratitude to Healthcare professionals all over the country, all of whom have been so heroic in the fight against this pandemic,” Barco's CEO David Murphy said. “We are here to support the Healthcare workers as they take care of all of us.”

Canada Goose

The winter clothing manufacturer is producing gear for frontline workers and patients in Canada. The company will be making suddenly hard-to-find medical supplies such as gowns and scrubs at manufacturing facilities across the country. Production and distribution will begin in Toronto and Winnipeg facilities next week, the company said.

"On behalf of our 5,000+ employees around the world, I want to express our deep gratitude to everyone who is working tirelessly on the frontlines, and our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected," Canada Goose said in a statement.

Crocs

The company is working to donate 10,000 pairs of shoes a day to those on the front lines of the battle against the pandemic. The company already has more than 40,000 people in line for a pair.

In addition, Crocs is also donating up to 100,000 pairs of shoes to be distributed across select health care facilities and organizations.

“Like everyone, we’ve been closely monitoring the news and working hard to map out a way to most effectively help where we can," Crocs CEO Andrew Rees said. "Over the past week, we have spoken to healthcare workers, their facilities and even their family and friends, and they have specifically asked for our shoes in an effort to provide ease on their feet, as well as ease of mind as they need the ability to easily clean up before they go home to their families."

Eight Oaks Farm Distillery 

The family-owned distillery plans converted their operation into a production line for the hand sanitizer. At this time, the Pennsylvania-based distillery is focused on making as much hand sanitizer to support organizations and nonprofits locally.

"The need for sanitizer is critical and even worse than we thought, and while we want to help everyone, supplies are limited and right now our commitment is to our local community and those mission-critical organizations," the company wrote.

ESTÉE LAUDER TO PRODUCE CORONAVIRUS-FIGHTING HAND SANITIZER

Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder committed to donating 10,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to every week to New York state for the coming weeks, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted.

Additionally, the company has also recently pledged to donate $2 million to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières as a way to support coronavirus treatment in countries that have been severely affected or lack health care resources, according to a company press release.

"The Estée Lauder Companies is proud to contribute to the broader COVID-19 relief efforts by reopening our Melville manufacturing facility this week to produce hand-sanitizer for high-need groups and populations, including front-line medical staff," a spokesperson for The Estée Lauder Companies told FOX Business. "We are grateful to our employees who have worked tirelessly to make this possible. Compensated, employee volunteers will support this vital, meaningful effort."

Fanatics 

The company has shifted from manufacturing uniforms for Major League Baseball to supporting health care workers fighting the pandemic. The company is utilizing its plant in Pennsylvania to produce masks and gowns out of the same jersey fabric that is used to make the uniforms worn by professional baseball players.

The company plans to make 1 million masks and gowns for hospitals and emergency management personnel across Pennsylvania with the goal of extending to New Jersey and New York, Fanatics founder and Executive Chairman Micheal Rubin said on Twitter.

"We have approx 100 associates working (extra distanced and in a very clean and safe environment of course)," he wrote in a tweet.

Ford Motor Company 

The company is working with 3M and GE Healthcare and the United Auto Workers union to expand the production of critical medical equipment and supplies for health care workers, first responders and patients fighting the virus.

Using a combination of parts with 3M, Ford is helping to scale production of powered-air purifying respirators. The company is also working with GE to expand the production of ventilators for patients.

Additionally, the company, with the help of the UAW, aims to produce roughly 75,000 face shields this week with plans to ramp up production to 100,000 face shields per week by April.

Google 

Google announced a more than $800 million commitment to support businesses, health organizations, governments and health workers on the front lines.

Among its extensive list of relief efforts, the company is offering financial support to increase the production capacity for personal protective equipment and medical devices, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Friday.

In working with Magid Glove & Safety, Google's longtime supplier and partner, the company is ramping up production of 2 million to 3 million face masks in the coming weeks. The masks will be distributed to the CDC Foundation, Pichai said.

Alphabet employees, including those with Google, Verily and X, are also helping to facilitate increased production of ventilators, he added. Alphabet is the parent company of all three firms.

Hertz

The car rental company is offering free vehicle rentals through April 30 for health care workers. Workers can book as little as a week or up to a month with the company at no cost to them. To take advantage of the offer, employees must have a valid medical ID, email with a healthcare domain, and driver's license.

JetBlue 

The airline is working with nonprofit partners and government agencies to help get medical professionals and much-needed supplies where they are needed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is also assisting students who need help traveling to family and friends or a permanent housing situation, the company said.

"Air travel is an essential global service and we are committed to meeting travel needs, some of which are critical," JetBlue said in a statement. "During this time of uncertainty, we remain committed to our mission of Inspiring Humanity and our social impact pillars – community and youth/education. This includes our main resources – flights and assets from our network of partners."

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L'Oréal  

The company launched a multi-faceted initiative to support Americans during the pandemic.

The company's manufacturing facilitates in North America are producing alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The hard-to-find substance will be sent to company employees, partners and health care professionals working on the frontlines. The company is also donating surgical and N95 respirator masks made in facilities in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and Franklin, New Jersey, to local hospitals.

“We stand in solidarity with the brave people who are tirelessly and selflessly working to end this pandemic, and it is our hope that, through these actions, we are able to provide some relief during this challenging time," Stéphane Rinderknech, president and CEO of L'Oréal USA, said.

The company is also donating money and resources to non-profits such as Feeding America and providing relief for small businesses.

Merck

Merck is donating masks for health care workers and other front-line responders battling the pandemic in New Jersey. The company announced this week it was donating 300,000 masks to New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

“We extend our deepest appreciation to the many healthcare providers and volunteers here and around the world who are doing so much to help affected patients and communities, and to our own employees who are focused on delivering our critically important medicines and vaccines to the patients who need them," said Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier.

Merck also said it's assuring that its "supply of medicines and vaccines reach our patients, contributing our scientific expertise to the development of antiviral approaches, and supporting our healthcare providers and the communities in which they serve."

Prudential Financial 

The New Jersey-based insurance company donated 153,000 face masks and approximately 75,000 respirators to health care workers across the state.

"While the pandemic has become a global crisis, the fight against it is taking place locally and will be won at the community level," Prudential's CEO Charles F. Lowrey said. "Our cities, towns and neighborhoods have always been there for us, in good times and bad. Their health, well-being and prosperity are vital to our future. We will not let them down in this hour of need."

The company also donated 300 bottles of hand sanitizer and committed $1.5 million in funding for local businesses, families in need and the nonprofit sector both in the U.S. and internationally.

Ralph Lauren

The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation is earmarking $10 million toward COVID-19 relief.

In part, the funds will go toward the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which was created to help countries prevent, detect and respond to the global crisis, the company said. The funds will also go toward the fashion community, employees and international cancer institutions, which are caring for people who are especially vulnerable during this time.

With help from its U.S. manufacturing partners, the company is also working to produce 250,000 masks and 25,000 isolation gowns to help those in need.

"Our hearts and thoughts are with the global community," the company said. Our hope is to be a beacon of optimism and unity as we navigate this unprecedented time. It is in the spirit of togetherness that we will rise."

Serta Simmons Bedding 

The company is donating 10,000 mattresses to New York City hospitals and medical facilities fighting the coronavirus.

The donation, which will be in partnership with Relief Bed International, is meant to address the significant shortage of hospital beds cited by Cuomo Tuesday.

"As the largest American producer of mattresses, Serta Simmons Bedding is committed to ensuring those who are hospitalized have a bed available where they can receive care and heal," SSB Chairman and CEO David Swift said Wednesday. "We're calling on our peers in the bedding industry to join us in addressing this need."

The company also said it is capable of producing up to 20,000 additional beds per day "at the lowest possible cost if needed" to help in the fight against the coronavirus.

Softbank

Softbank has donated more than a million N-95 masks to New York state.

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son tweeted the offer to donate a million free face masks on Thursday, according to Reuters.

"I will donate a million masks," Son tweeted, according to a Reuters' translation.

Starbucks

Starbucks is offering free coffee to those of the front lines of fighting the pandemic. First responders and front-line workers, such as doctors, nurses, paramedics, police officers and firefighters, are eligible to receive a free tall-sized hot or iced coffee until May 3.

The company's charitable arm, The Starbucks Foundation, is also donating $500,000 toward coronavirus response efforts. The donation will be split equally, with $250,000 earmarked for Operation Gratitude to help send 50,000 care packages to health care workers and $250,000 tabbed for Direct Relief to fund protective gear and other key medical supplies.

"We want to thank the tens of thousands of healthcare workers and first responders who are protecting the health and safety of our neighborhoods," Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson tweeted.

TEVA TO DONATE POTENTIAL CORONAVIRUS TREATMENT TABLETS

Tesla 

The company is slated to reopen its Gigafactory New York "as fast as humanly possible" to make ventilators for undersupplied hospitals contending with the pandemic, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said.

"Giga New York will reopen for ventilator production as soon as humanly possible," Musk wrote on Twitter. "We will do anything in our power to help the citizens of New York."

Teva Pharmaceuticals 

The pharmaceutical company is donating more than 6 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets to hospitals across the U.S. The tablets manufactured are approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of malaria, lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.

"Although the product is not currently approved for use in the treatment of COVID-19, it is currently under investigation for efficacy against the coronavirus and has been requested by US government officials to be made available for use immediately," the company announced.

The company is also looking at additional ways to address the global need.

Titos Handmade Vodka

Tito's Handmade Vodka plans to produce 24 tons of sanitizer during the next several weeks, which will be distributed for free. After the initial batch, the company will produce more as needed.

Titos is also donating to committed $2 million to organizations focused on those in the service industry including CORE, USBG Foundation, Southern Smoke, and World Central Kitchen.

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This list will continually be updated.