Amid the coronavirus outbreak plaguing the world, almost every hospitals across the world are seeing a rapid decline in personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as surgical masks, gloves, and gowns.
In a call for help, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took to Twitter and implored companies to be “creative” and aid in supplying these crucial gear to hospital frontliners fighting against the coronavirus. Cuomo mentioned that the city is willing to pay a “premium” and “offer funding” to companies and individuals able to assist. He provided numbers to call for funding concerns and for those who have unused supplies.
In a follow-up tweet, the governor said that “call volume is high” from businesses reaching out to donate their extra equipment or volunteering to help produce more.
A few hours later, Project Runway former winner, designer Christian Siriano tweeted a response to Cuomo’s appeal.
“If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some,” the Project Runway star said Friday. “I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help.”
Cuomo responded with thanks and confirmed that his office was in touch with Siriano. He also urged more designers to come forward.
“Appreciate his help so much,” Cuomo wrote. “Who’s next? Let’s do this together, NY!”
By Friday night, Christian Siriano posted an update on Instagram saying that he and his team of seamstresses, who are all working from home, can make hundreds of masks a day. He also shared a video of a prototype his group has produced.
“Prototypes are happening more updates by next week,” he said in a tweet.
Their target is to make 1,000 masks for New York City hospitals in a couple of days. Siriano says that they will be using washable fabric that they already have as material for the masks. He hopes that medical frontliners will be able to use them for two to three days instead of disposing of them every day.
Siriano is known as the youngest winner of the fashion design program, Project Runway. After winning four challenges on the show, he made it to the finals and earned a spot on the New York Fashion Week where he got to present his collection of couture inspired by musketeers.
He won the finale of the fourth season on March 5, 2008, at only 22 years old. The young designer received $100,000 and an exclusive spread in Elle Magazine.
New York is one of the cities currently experiencing a severe shortage of personal protective equipment for the city’s healthcare workers. Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared that the city is two to three weeks away from running out of medical supplies at hospitals. CBS2 has received reports that in some hospitals, healthcare workers have to wear the same masks throughout their shift.
During a pandemic, our doctors and nurses need all the help they can get. If you have unused supplies, you may send an email to COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov. Please stay home as much as possible and if you have to go out to buy food please observe social distancing and hand-washing after. Let us all do our part to stop the spread of the virus.