The city and state are exploring how area garment manufacturers can quickly start producing surgical masks and gowns.

Officials warn the city needs a staggering 3 million N95 masks, 50 million surgical masks, and 25 million protective gowns to get through the coronavirus outbreak.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said she spoke with the de Blasio administration earlier this week about enlisting the city's garment industry to help in what she describes as a war time effort.

"I have spoken to manufacturers directly and they are willing to start, as long as they have the materials," Brewer said. "And they were aiming at 25,000 garments if they can get the material."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday the state would provide funding for companies to buy equipment and hire employees to manufacturer protective clothing. 

Brewer said the Council of Fashion Designers of America and ITAC, the group representing manufacturers, sent out surveys to their more than 2,000 members to gauge their capabilities.




The ITAC survey asks whether companies can produce a whole range of items from cotton swabs to masks and ventilators.

Designer Christian Siriano told Cuomo in a tweet that he's willing to help.


Cuomo thanked him for his help, adding “who’s next?”





Brewer said the last time she remembers the government enlisting the help of the local garment industry was during the Gulf War, when there was a need for uniforms.



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