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Coronavirus medical masks being voluntarily mass-produced by veteran-owned brand ‘for pennies’

Nine Line Apparel is donating time and money to rapidly produce millions of medical masks

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Veteran-owned company is vowing to mass-produce millions of medical masks for coronavirus first responders for “pennies.”

Nine Line Apparel founder Tyler Merritt said big companies making billions off of high demand, along with price gouging sellers, are “despicable” and aims to right their wrongs by pushing for rapid production, during an appearance on FOX Business' Cavuto: Coast-to-Coast.

“We do not want these multi-billion dollar DoD contractors to drag their heels and make billions of dollars while people die,” Merritt told Neil Cavuto. “Right now, there's a contract for 500 million masks to be produced in the next 18 months. We don't have 18 months. We have days.”

Tyler Merritt, Nine Line Apparel founder

Merritt said that his extensive volunteer efforts are for his mother who’s an active nurse and his father who’s at high risk of contracting the virus. The project is being completely funded by the company and Merritt himself, which he claims will likely result in bankruptcy.

REUSING N95 MASKS IN CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC POSSIBLE WITH THIS TECHNOLOGY

“We’re going to make it faster, better, cheaper than what's out there,” he said. “And I'm going to drive the prices down. This mask… we're selling at our cost and we're pushing out hundreds of thousands.”

According to Merritt, the company went from having no prior knowledge in mask production to making a variety of different masks from surgical to N95. Now, Merritt said they have “the ability to scale from zero to 100 million masks in a couple of days.”

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N95 respiration masks at a 3M lab that has been contracted by the U.S. government to produce extra masks in response to the coronavirus outbreak, in Maplewood, Minnesota. March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi - RC2RDF9ZWBML

Scientists and engineers have also volunteered their time to Nine Line’s project. Together, Merritt said, they plan to create their own task force to “fix this problem faster.”

Merritt said he believes the private sector can move on the issue quicker than the CDC can, but employees just want to get back to their normal work.

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“I do not want to make masks ever again,” he said. “I want someone to do it better.”