The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many U.S. businesses to a halt. But rather than leaving factories idle, some are undertaking a heroic effort to learn new manufacturing techniques and convert their assembly lines so that they can produce urgently needed supplies.
Both large and small businesses are finding ways to contribute to relief efforts. Major automobile and aerospace manufacturers have pivoted to producing ventilators and face shields. Clothing and footwear companies of all sizes are producing protective N95 surgical masks and hospital gowns.
Major alcoholic beverage companies and consumer goods companies are producing hand sanitizer. Restaurants and snack manufacturers are producing and distributing school lunches. 3D printing companies are churning out test swabs and various kinds of personal protective equipment. And plastic manufacturers are producing plexiglass screens to protect cashiers in checkout lanes at grocery stores and pharmacies.
Just as the “Arsenal of Democracy” boosted production and helped turn the tide during the Second World War, so too the collective efforts of U.S. businesses and workers will help solve both the healthcare crisis and the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.