Nike Is Making Personal Protective Equipment for Medical Workers

"Companies like Nike need to do our part," said CEO John Donahoe

Nike store coronavirus campaign
Listen to Nike. Stay, and play, inside.
Ollie Millington / Getty
By Alex Lauer / March 28, 2020 6:00 am

While companies across the globe slow or shutter during the pandemic, some are stepping up, reconfiguring their factories and churning out much needed medical supplies. American automakers are ready to make ventilators and respirators, if given the support, and now another consumer powerhouse has raised its hand.

In a conference call this week, Nike CEO John Donahoe said the footwear giant is developing personal protective equipment for medical professionals battling the coronavirus “with guidance from the healthcare workers at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU),” writes Business Insider. At the time of writing, Nike’s home state of Oregon has over 300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 reported deaths.

“Companies like Nike need to do our part,” Donahoe said, according to Business Insider. “Based on needs identified by the teams and health professionals at Oregon Health & Science University, our teammates are working right now about how to best help, including prototyping face shields of OHSU and others.”

Similar to Ford’s recent partnership with 3M and GE Healthcare, Nike seems to be figuring out which parts of its processes can be converted to medical manufacturing. So while face shields are a relatively simple and obvious way forward (Ford is making them, too), their capabilities may widen in the coming days and weeks. 

This isn’t all Nike is doing to combat the pandemic, though. As the company reported in a press release on March 18, Nike, the Nike Foundation and Nike’s top brass are collectively donating over $15 million to different response efforts, ranging from local food banks to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

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