Companies Like Prestige Ameritech Offered To Help Build Supplies For Virus, But Were Reportedly Turned Down

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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As the novel coronavirus continues to affect Americans, there have been reports alleging that companies have offered to help build supplies, but have been rejected.

One of the more recent allegations comes from Prestige Ameritech Vice President Michael Bowen, who runs up a Texas-based medical supply company. Bowen sent emails over the course of 13 years warning federal officials about a shortage of American-made masks, NPR reported.

The company even offered to increase production in January after the novel coronavirus was determined to officially be in the United States, the Washington Post reported on May 9. Prestige Ameritech could handle producing around 1.7 million N95 masks per week, and Bowen said he wanted to give the U.S. government the first chance at getting medical masks produced.

“We are the last major domestic mask company,” Bowen wrote in a Jan. 23 email, according to WaPo. “My phones are ringing now, so I don’t ‘need’ government business. I’m just letting you know that I can help you preserve our infrastructure if things ever get really bad. I’m a patriot first, businessman second.”

The government reportedly turned down his offer, and within weeks there was a shortage of masks.

Bowen’s offer is included in a whistleblower complaint filed earlier in May from Rick Bright, a senior National Institutes of Health (NIH) official and former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at Health and Human Services (BARDA).

“U.S. mask supply is at imminent risk,” Bowen wrote to Bright on Jan. 27, according to WaPo. “Rick, I think we’re in deep s—.”

Bright has accused the administration of forcing him out of his BARDA position after he says he raised concerns about using hydroxychloroquine as treatment for the coronavirus. Bowen was one of the people who testified during a during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing on May 14.

Prestige Ameritech did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller. (RELATED: Coronavirus Jobless Claims Top 36 Million After Department Of Labor Reports 2.98 Million New Claims Filed Over Past Week)

Similarly, reports say that in March, CEO Ken D’Arcy of Remington Arms, a gun manufacturer, offered “approximately one million square feet of unused and available manufacturing space” to help produce any necessary equipment to combat the novel coronavirus, according to Military Times.

D’Arcy sent Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump the offer in a letter. The letter was reportedly ignored by Cuomo as of early April, according to reports.

Cuomo’s failure to respond came during a time when ventilators from China were delayed, according to Townhall editor Katie Pavlich. It’s unclear whether Remington Arms’ offer was ever taken up.

Remington Arms did not respond to previous requests for comment from the Daily Caller.