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E&C Republican District Highlights: Stepping Up During Coronavirus Outbreak


WASHINGTON, DC – From designing surgical masks to making hand sanitizer, Americans are lending helping hands during the coronavirus outbreak to support heath care workers on the front lines and families protecting themselves and their loved ones. Energy and Commerce Republicans have amazing stories of people in their districts and states that exemplify what it means to step up during COVID-19. #InItTogether

Here are some examples:

In E&C GOP Leader Greg Walden’s state of Oregon, distilleries are making hand sanitizer.

The Bulletin: Central Oregon distilleries switch from spirits to sanitizer

Central Oregon distilleries are racing to fill the need for hand sanitizer by switching from spirits to cleansing gel.

Early on in the battle to combat the spread of COVID-19, U.S. consumers snatched the portable hand sanitizer as a way to stop the spread of the virus, but demands quickly outpaced supply.

Fox News: Oregon distillery giving away free hand sanitizer

It’s time to start thinking out of the box.

As people across the country try to prepare and stock up for possible quarantines, certain products are becoming harder and harder to find. With hand sanitizer being one of the most sought after items, some companies are starting to find new ways to serve their customers.

In Montana, where Rep. Greg Gianforte is the member at large, constituents are making masks and hand sanitizer.

KTVQ: Billings doctor finds inventive way to help with shortage of medical masks

He took his idea to Spencer Zaugg, a local dentist, and his son, Colton. The Zauggs have four 3D printers, and Colton has experience in design. Together, they were able to design a plastic mask that is printed using a 3D printer which allows 6-10 uses out of the common surgical mask.

The mask was created using a template online and a scan of Colton’s face. It can be scaled up or down to fit different people. They take about two hours to print on a 3D printer and cost only a dollar to produce. Because they are made of plastic, the mask can be wiped down and sanitized so it is able to be used over and over again.

KBZK: From spirits to hand sanitizer: Bozeman distillery helping meet supply needs for first responders

After figuring out they already had the ingredients, Wildrye Distilling in Bozeman switched from making distilled spirits to helping first responders and the community solve a problem — a hand sanitizer problem.

Anyone in the community can visit the distillery and get free bottles while supplies last, but they do ask that you bring smaller bottles, two ounces or less.

A distillery producing hand sanitizer and 3D printers making medical masks is also happening in Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s 16th district in Illinois.

rrstar. com: Roscoe area 3D printing enthusiasts answer the call for more masks

Aaron Mattingly, of Roscoe, and Jim Kelly, of Loves Park, are among a group of local 3D printing hobbyists who have joined more than 3,000 3D printer operators around the globe in making reusable antimicrobial masks.

In a spare bedroom in Mattingly’s ranch home, three 3D printers slowly but with extreme precision make the plastic masks from a string of plastic that resembles a spool that’s loaded into a Weed Eater. The heated string of plastic is applied layer by layer and instantly cools into the shape of a mask. Each mask takes about six hours to print.

International Business Times: Illinois Whiskey Distillery To Begin Producing Hand Sanitizer In Response To COVID-19

An Illinois whiskey distillery said Friday it would begin producing hand sanitizer to help supply local hospitals and authorities trying to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Whiskey Acres Distilling Co. in DeKalb, about 65 miles west of Chicago, planned to begin producing hand sanitizer after it was forced to close for the month due to the coronavirus panic. The visitor center and whiskey operations will remain closed for the rest of the month while it makes the most of its “downtime.”

In the state of Michigan, where Reps. Fred Upton and Tim Walberg are representatives, distilleries and a brewery are making hand sanitizer, and a metal fabricator is now making face shields.

In Rep. Fred Upton’s 6th district:

WWMT: Green Door Distilling Co. producing and donating hand sanitizer with help from community

The company said it was committed to producing 100 gallons of 190-proof neutral spirits for sanitizer, as well as donating about 1,000 four-ounce bottles of it to the community. Green Door led the distilling, bottling and distribution efforts, but businesses across the Kalamazoo area donated time and materials to project.

In Rep. Walberg’s 7th district:

MLive: Jackson metal fabricator retools factory to make face shields for hospitals

A Blackman Township business that normally does metal stampings, tubing and welding is swapping operations to make medical supplies for hospitals in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

WNEM: Michigan distillery putting drinks aside, making hand sanitizer

A Michigan distillery is putting a pause on making drinks and beginning to make hand sanitizer.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the distillery has stopped making alcohol to drink and is using its facilities to make hand sanitizer, and they’re giving it away to people who need it.

MLive: Grand River Brewery uses supply to produce hand sanitizer for Jackson hospital

Two weeks ago, people could leave the Grand River Brewery with bottles of locally-distilled bourbon, vodka, gin, rum, whiskey and more.

On Tuesday, March 24, brewery employees were hauling a different kind of liquid out the doors – hand sanitizer. They loaded two 55-gallon drums of sanitizer onto a truck, which hauled it off to Henry Ford Allegiance Health, up the road in Jackson.

In Rep. Gus Bilirakis’ 12th district of Florida, a brewery is also using its resources to make hand sanitizer. Big Storm Brewing looking to produce hand sanitizer

Big Storm will then blend the ethanol with other chemical compounds in guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO) to produce one gallon, finished good product of liquid-spray form hand sanitizer.

So, what sets Big Storm apart from other brewers creating hand sanitizer? It’s the creation of ethanol.

Govoni said they can be different because they will have the ability to actually create — not combine already finished chemical agents together.

Employees at a grocery store in Rep. Larry Bucshon’s 8th district of Indiana are making sack lunches for students.

Courier & Press: Coronavirus: Mt. Vernon grocery store makes free lunches for school kids amid panic buying

When employees at McKim’s IGA heard that local schools were closing down to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus, they knew they had to do something.

“It was a collective idea,” said Matthew Williams, who manages the store’s deli, bakery and produce section. “We’ve seen on Facebook that kids were out of school, and one of the first things you would see is how are they going to get lunches?”

The answer to that question came pretty quickly. Store employees decided to make the kids’ meals themselves.

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