If anything can be said about the stock market these days it is that it is unpredictable from one day to the next. It has seen unequaled highs and lows. The response to the package on Monday for financial relief to Americans is likely to cause it to rise once again – if it passes.
Companies That Are Producing Medical Supplies
Right now, there appears to be a vast shortage of medical supplies, particularly ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes masks, goggles, gowns, and gloves. It seems that they cannot be manufactured fast enough to meet the surge in demand. Even prisoners and crafters are getting in on making masks.
Several companies are working on ventilators now. Elon Musk has agreed to produce them at the request of Mayor Bill de Blasio who told him that New York City is buying. Even though the major automakers closed last week due to coronavirus fears, all three (Ford, GM, Fiat-Chrysler) have agreed to start producing them. Not sure how many employees that will take. GM is preparing to make 200,000 ventilators.
Companies That Are Making or Developing Coronavirus Supplies
Elon Musk has agreed to produce 250,000 masks and Tim Cook at Microsoft has agreed to produce 1,000,000. This should mean that there will be plenty to go around shortly. Some hospitals are saying that because of the shortage that they are reusing masks and other equipment – not safe!
Test kits are necessary to detect and prevent the spread of the virus. Once detected, that individual can be quarantined. If no one is sure if they have it or not, it will spread further. One company, Danaher’s Cepheid has been approved by the FDA to distribute its new 45-minute test for coronavirus. Several other companies are producing new test kits to be able to detect the virus. There is a very high demand for them all over the world.
One thing that will soon be desperately needed is more beds and intensive care units. The military is preparing some of these now so that they are ready in various cities across the country.
Companies Producing Coronavirus Drugs
Drug companies, such as Gilead with its new experimental drug Remdesivir, are still vying to find the one that will work. Gilead has had so many orders at home and internationally that it has stopped trying to fulfill them and wants people to join a clinical trial to verify that it works. It is trying to limit it to people that really need it.
Amazon Is Hiring
One company that I mentioned previously – and one that everyone knows – is Amazon. Jeff Bezos has kept his company operating and has announced that he will hire 100,000 new employees. He says his company is providing essential services and intends to keep going. He has invited people that have been laid off from the restaurant and bar industries to apply. The primary need is to make up orders and deliver them to people that are under restrictions or are seniors over 60 and should not go into the stores.
Not sure if anything will come of it, but the Chairman of the Carnival Cruise Lines, Micky Arison, has offered to let his idle ships serve as hospitals – if needed. They would not be used for coronavirus patients, but other ones if hospitals run out of room. So far, one city and a foreign country may be considering taking up the offer, which would not mean a profit for the cruise ship company.