COVID-19 – Ford to Donate 100 Million Masks

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Ford Built for America - COVID-19 Response

Nobody said no. Nobody said why? Everybody said ‘let’s go’.” The UAW members who did this are likely on Trump’s sucker list along with veterans and Gold Star families.

Ford Motor is targeting production of 100 million masks through 2021 for communities across the U.S. with limited access to personal protective equipment. The company is focusing on military veterans, schools, food banks and African American communities, among others.

Masks will support presumptive President Joe Biden’s pending mask wearing mandate. Ford, currently manufacturing 2.5 million medical-grade masks a week for its employees and at-risk communities, is adding mask-making machines by mid- to late-October to increase production and deliver on its goal.

Ford is working with Ford Motor Company Fund, the company’s philanthropic arm, to identify donation recipients across the U.S. through a network of nonprofit and state and local partners. This follows completion of its 50,000th ventilator to help clinicians treat COVID-19 patients.

“As the pandemic continues, so does the spirit, grit and dedication of our Ford team and UAW partners to step up and contribute to help our country,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO.

This announcement comes ahead of a new documentary by award-winning director Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights,” “Patriots Day,” “Lone Survivor”) titled “On the Line.” Premiering on YouTube at 2 p.m. EDT today, the documentary focuses on Ford’s Project Apollo, the internal codename for the company’s all-out effort to design and manufacture personal protective equipment, including powered air-purifying respirators, face shields, medical gowns for healthcare workers and first responders, plus ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

Berg’ looks at members of Ford’s Project Apollo team – from the engineers who led the project to the UAW team members who volunteered to work at the height of the pandemic.

To commemorate release of the documentary ahead of Labor Day, the Aspen Institute, as part of the “Aspen Ideas Now” virtual speaker series, will feature a conversation with Hackett, UAW President Rory Gamble and Berg, exploring the state of the American labor force, the importance of a strong automotive manufacturing base and the role American corporations can play in times of need. A trailer for the documentary is available now and can be found here and a link to today’s 2 p.m. Aspen conversation is here.

“Just weeks into the virus, with most people sheltering at home and so many lives on the line, the duty and sacrifice shown by the Ford team and UAW to put aside their personal concerns and go to work to provide what the country needed represented the absolute best of our country,” said Berg. “‘On the Line’ commemorates those heroic efforts and shows that no matter what challenges we may face, when we come together, we can do great things.”

Last week, Ford Motor Company Fund shipped 10 million face masks to the National Urban League, American Red Cross, Disabled American Veterans and other local organizations to protect against COVID-19.

Ford, in partnership with the UAW, has produced more than 72 million pieces of personal protective equipment to meet the enormous demand. Altogether, this amounts to:

  • More than 45 million face masks and 20 million face shields
  • 50,000 patient ventilators
  • More than 32,000 powered air-purifying respirators in collaboration with 3M
  • 1.4 million washable isolation gowns

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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