SpaceX is making its own hand sanitizer and face shields, which it plans to donate the materials to hospitals and places are in need to help combat the novel coronavirus pandemic, as per an internal memo, which was first reported by CNBC. The company is also planning to set up a voluntary blood drive at its Hawthorne headquarters, in California, and is thinking of setting up drives at other SpaceX locations.
Support for Health Care Workers
The email, circulated to SpaceX employees, promises that the home-brewed hand sanitizer made by the facilities, materials engineering, and health and safety teams “complies with CDC guidelines and is effective at killing COVID-19.” The same team is working in the process of manufacturing face shields that create space suits and crew equipment.
So far, engineers made about 75 masks over the weekend and gave them to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, as per the email. The team also made a donation of 100 Tyvek coverall suits to the medical staff there. Neither SpaceX nor Cedars-Sinai Medical Center quickly answered a request for comment about the donations.
The memo also talked about ways that the company is supporting its employees at the time of the pandemic. For example, every food outlet at SpaceX sites is slashing their food prices in half, and now the company is enabling hourly employees to scan their badges to feed their hours in place of using a fingerprint scanner.
The memo, which symbolizes support for health care workers and others in the time of the crisis, has surfaced just a few weeks after Elon Musk, the company’s CEO made light of the pandemic. Originally, Musk stated that the panic around COVID-19 was foolish and continuously tried to underestimate the seriousness of the disease, telling his employees in an email that they were more likely to die in a car crash than from the virus.
Now, two of the SpaceX workers have been tested positive for COVID-19, while another dozen have been put into quarantine. Employees at the company’s in-house school have displayed concern regarding their safety as they’ve been asked to come into work during the pandemic, as per a report from BuzzFeed.
In the weeks since Musk has extended an offer to utilize his companies to help support patients and those struggling with the pandemic. His other company, Tesla, recently purchased 1,000 surplus ventilators from China and donated them to the state of California. Tesla has also donated up to 50,000 N95 surgical masks to the University of Washington’s Medical Center.
Meanwhile, the company is working with the medical device company Medtronic to begin producing ventilators to support hospitals that are facing potential shortages as more COVID-19 patients require oxygen. Musk pointed out on Twitter that Tesla’s Gigafactory in New York would open “as soon as humanly possible” to begin ventilator production to help the state.
Hello, I’m Anna Yeo. If you like my news coverage, please drop a good word in my inbox. I’m journalist by profession and have been part of many major reporting across the globe. I like to write crisp and factual news. I have completed my masters degree in journalism. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]