We’re in the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic, the likes of which has never been seen by anyone currently alive before — and to make matters worse, the United States is experiencing a major medical supply shortage. Medical staff and government leaders have even resorted to pleading the public for help on social media. That’s how fashion designer Christian Siriano got recruited.
Christian Siriano and his sewing team are now working hard to sew masks for New York City medical workers to help combat the COVID-19 crisis.
Siriano offered his services in response to a tweet from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday.
“NY has a critical need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including gloves, gowns and masks — as well as ventilators,” Cuoomo wrote on Twitter. “If you have or can make any of these supplies, New York is buying.” He added that the state would pay a premium and offer funding for the supplies.
Siriano replied to Cuomo, explaining, “If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some. I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help.”
Soon after, Cuomo and Siriano got in touch with each other. Siriano later tweeted a possible prototype of the new face masks.
We will be making a few versions of this in order to help as many people as we can. Here is the process so we can get a perfect fit. More to come thank you everyone we hope to get these to the right people ASAP pic.twitter.com/Pow7H4D0xT
— Christian Siriano (@CSiriano) March 20, 2020
According to ABC News, the U.S. has a stockpile of 13 million N95 respirator masks, but the government says it may need up to a billion over the next few months. The shortage is most dire for medical workers, who need masks to be able to treat patients with COVID-19 safely and without contracting the disease themselves. The more medical workers who get sick, the fewer who are available to work.
One hospital told ABC News that it only had three-and-a-half days of masks left. Doctors and nurses use over 3000 of the masks per day.
In addition to Siriano’s efforts, many individuals are doing their part by sewing handmade face masks at home.