Trump: Hanes 'retrofitting' plants to make medical masks, distilleries producing hand sanitizer

President Trump said during a Saturday afternoon briefing that Hanes clothing company will be "retrofitting" its means of production to help supply much-needed medical face masks, which have been at the center of the coronavirus response effort.

Trump also said some distilleries around the country have decided to switch to producing a different type of product -- hand sanitizer.

He said the response from the private sector has been "amazing" and that there are many different industries and corporations that have offered to help the public and the government.

"There’s a move on that’s incredible right now, and by way of example, Hanes ... is retrofitting its manufacturing capabilities in large sections of the plants to produce masks and they're in the process right now," he said of the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company.

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"At my direction, the FDA has taken rapid steps to make these items available for medical use right now," he added.

He said the distilleries are "repurposing" their alcohol production to help make the sanitizer Americans need to upkeep hygiene for the virus, which can be transmitted by touching infected surfaces.

Pernod Ricard, a French company, is repurposing its alcoholic beverage plants in Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas and West Virginia to produce sanitizer, Trump said during the briefing, calling the move "unbelievable."

Earlier this week, Trump tweeted praise for a craft distillery in New Tripoli, Pa., that also shifted its production and has decided to distribute its first batch of hand sanitizer to those in need.

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Eight Oaks Farm Distillery, located about 100 miles west of New York City, will donate its first stock of sanitizer to charitable groups.

Founder Chad Butters told the Associated Press that in a national emergency, the "right thing to do" is to help the community if you have the means to: "We’ll flood the [Lehigh] Valley with hand sanitizer and drive that price right down," he said.