Goal: Get one million masks to healthcare workers on the front lines in NYC ASAP. Allow doctors or hospitals to order directly and get PPE delivered the next day.
What's the Background? Doctors and nurses in NYC have already run out of PPE and are reusing masks or anything else available. Because of this, our front line medical staff are getting very sick. Many already have the virus, but are not getting tested. It’s essential we keep our medical community safe and healthy if we want to be safe and healthy. There’s a surge that’s coming soon and they need help.
Getting masks into the emergency rooms and ICUs will directly save lives - both medical staff and patients.
The NYC Startup community is a close-knit, compassionate group of companies and we can put maximum force behind this very focused problem.
Why Can’t Hospitals Get Masks Themselves?
The answer is simple: bureaucracy, lack of approvals and supply chain constraints.
This is the first question we asked. Hospitals have complex procurement processes, and cannot just find factories in China and source themselves (95% of mask production is outside of the US). The supply chain is way too complicated. Also hospitals have formal approval processes for their own orders. That’s why nurses and doctors are betting their communities to donate the masks. The nurses also said they do not think they’ve gotten a single mask from the federal government yet (confirmed by the NYC Mayor on 3/21). The various state and federal governments similarly have slow, and complex supply chains. They will get it done eventually. But we are potentially months away from the supply chain issues to be resolved. Only then will the federal government's moves trickle down to our local hospitals.
Where Are We Getting Masks?
From multiple trusted factories in China that have already put shipments in the air for us. We have local contacts on the ground. We also have the direct expertise from folks who are part of Operations team of US companies that have been directly sourcing from these factories for years.
Who Gets the Masks?
The initial focus is on two hospital systems and their ERs and ICUs: NYU Langone and NY Presbyterian. However, we have expanded to all NY area hospitals and are also shipping to other parts of the US on a limited basis. Just put in an order and we'll confirm.
Why These Hospitals?
Both have made an urgent and personal appeal to the community for help. They need masks now! We are applying maximum pressure to the most specific problem - two nurses we know, two hospitals, one city at the center of the pandemic in the US.
Two direct quotes:
What Kind of Masks?
KN95. There are the equivalent of N95 Masks. They are certified in the EU as FFP2 (Europe EN 149-2001) and in China as KN95. You can see from this 3M chart. Both the CDC and the FDA have approved KN95s for medical use.
How Much is a Mask?
Wholesale they are roughly $1.50, but prices are fluctuating rapidly. Air freight is on top of this and very expensive.
Where Does the Money Go?
100% will go to the purchase and shipment of the masks. Once they arrive in NYC, we will personally deliver them to hospitals but also make them available on this site so ANY healthcare worker can buy it directly and receive next day. Think of this like a "free Amazon for PPE for healthcare workers."
How Long Will A Million Masks Last?
We estimate these two hospitals (at least certain critical units) will be able to last through April with a million masks (15K masks a day, each). It’s not ideal, but will help them and hopefully state and federal supplies kick in sometime soon. Getting through the first 2-3 weeks of April is the key. In the US, 3M is starting to ramp up production in a major way. By the time that gets into the hands of NYU Langone or New York Presbyterian or other doctors, it may be weeks or months. We need a more direct and timely approach.
What is Does Accountability Look Like?
I will update every company or individual who donates as we progress from: fundraising, order, order processing, loading onto plane, transit, arrival, customs and then final delivery to the hospitals. We will provide photographic evidence where possible. For sure, photos of the final delivery will be provided.
Who Is Organizing This?
My name is Shafqat, and I’m the CEO of NewsCred, a 10 year old, NYC based startup with 200 employees. I’m being helped by others on my team and other members of the NewsCred and startup community.
Is This Tax Deductible?
Yes, we just found a partner that can ensure this is tax deductible and will issue a letter. They are a 501c3.