This winter, we might be facing both a difficult flu season and another surge of COVID-19. How can manufacturers help protect workers and all Americans from illness, hospitalization or worse? Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, gave a comprehensive answer at an NAM gathering of manufacturing leaders last week. Here’s what he had to say.
The situation today: Though both COVID-19 infections and deaths are down, Jha noted that if we keep steady at today’s numbers, we’ll be seeing 100,000 to 150,000 deaths per year—three to five times worse than the average flu season.
- However, “almost every one of those deaths is preventable,” he emphasized. In fact, we are better able to fight COVID-19 than the flu, as we have more effective treatments for the former.
- If we take some proactive measures, Jha added, we can “drive the death number down 90%.”
What to expect: The near future is rather worrying, according to Jha. The combination of COVID-19 and flu stands to hit us hard this winter.
- We’ve had two seasons in a row with “little to no flu”—in large part thanks to COVID-19 mitigation measures like masking and avoiding large gatherings.
- This year, however, people have largely stopped masking and are back to congregating in person. And there is reason to expect a COVID-19 wave anyway, as infections spiked during both the past two winters.
- Meanwhile, there are alarming indications that this flu season will be harsh. Jha noted that public health officials watch the southern hemisphere during our summer (their winter) to see what our flu season may be like—and this year, the southern hemisphere had an “early and robust flu season.”
- In addition, the health care workforce is truly exhausted after more than two years of the pandemic. “There’s no question that this is potentially challenging,” Jha concluded.
What to do: As alarming as the situation might be, Jha says there is “good news” as well. “We can actually control and prevent a large chunk of what might be coming down the path,” he said, as long as we focus on three key measures.
Vaccines: This is the big one. Getting people vaccinated against COVID-19 and flu is essential, said Jha, and the new BA.5-specific COVID-19 shots will make a big difference.
- The U.S. is the first country to authorize such a shot, and that means we now have a “vaccine that exactly matches the dominant variant” and that offers much better protection for today’s environment than the original vaccines.
- Jha praised manufacturers’ and the NAM’s efforts to encourage workers to get vaccinated and urged manufacturers to continue their efforts this season, including by offering paid time off for workers getting vaccinated.
Treatment: The second essential element is treatment. As Jha explained, we have very effective treatments for COVID-19, including antivirals and monoclonal antibodies. We must make sure that people have easy access to them, via test-and-treat sites and telehealth, for example. Employers can also help workers get these lifesaving treatments, he added.
- These medicines not only prevent hospitalizations and deaths, but also help people “clear the infection faster, so they feel better faster.”
- “There is some preliminary evidence that they also prevent long-term complications like long COVID as well,” Jha added.
Air quality: Last, Jha cited the importance of improving air quality to combat all respiratory infections, whether COVID-19, influenza or RSV (a common respiratory virus).
- Most Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, but don’t really think about the quality of the air they’re breathing, he noted.
- Yet, that air quality helps determine your likelihood of getting sick, and even “makes a difference to your cognition,” he pointed out. Research shows that improving air quality raised students’ test scores in schools and reduced worker absences.
- We can improve indoor air quality by upgrading filters, improving air exchanges with the outdoors or using air purifiers, he advised.
The long term: “The virus will continue evolving, and that means we need a long-term strategy for building people’s immunity,” said Jha.
- The next generation of vaccines—including nasal vaccines that block transmission and “variant-proof” vaccines—will truly put COVID-19 behind us. And we need to develop these vaccines fast, via a partnership between the government and private sector, he said.
- Improving indoor air quality will also have a huge long-term impact, he added, as the economy loses tens of millions of dollars from worker absences due to illness.
- “We should use this moment, with all that we have learned from this pandemic, to build a healthier society,” he said.
The last word: In conclusion, Jha said, “Let me wrap up by saying thank you for the incredible leadership so many of you have shown in bringing our country as far forward as it has come.”
- “This next set of challenges is every bit as big as the original,” he warned. Yet, when the public and private sector work together, they “can accomplish enormous things,” like the development and deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines.
- “My hope is that we can continue doing that work together. And if we do, we can certainly get through this fall and winter without disruption, without a lot more sickness . . . and get our country to a much better, healthier and more productive place.”
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org
Washington, D.C. – Following news of a potential reconciliation agreement among Senate Democrats, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:
“This proposal is nothing more than a repackaging of the same bad ideas with a new name slapped on it. It is especially harmful because it will undermine manufacturers’ competitiveness at a time when the industry is reeling from supply chain disruptions and record inflation. Manufacturers kept our promises after the 2017 tax reforms, hiring more workers, investing in our communities and raising wages and benefits. Raising taxes now will hurt manufacturers’ ability to keep delivering for our people and mean fewer opportunities for Americans already worried about their financial future.
“Government price controls on pharmaceutical manufacturers are no less destructive. They will weaken our ongoing work to develop lifesaving cures to complex diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s and harm our responses to health crises. It’s bad for Americans’ health. It’s wrong for our economy.
“While the language purportedly calls for comprehensive permitting reform to be passed by the end of the fiscal year, there is nothing that prohibits Congress from doing exactly that right now. Any member of Congress who is voting for the bill based solely on that language should not do so and should instead push to have a standalone bill considered.
“Lawmakers who support manufacturing in America should oppose this reconciliation bill. It will make manufacturing less competitive and America economically weaker.”
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
Washington, D.C. – Following a decision by the World Trade Organization to lift intellectual property protections for COVID-19 products, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:
“This damaging decision will undermine American innovation, competitiveness and technology leadership—weakening manufacturing in America and threatening the jobs of manufacturing workers. Even worse, the agreement could exacerbate the supply chain and logistical hurdles that represent the biggest current challenges to global efforts to ensure access to critical COVID-19 products.
“It is alarming and disappointing that the United States would join other countries to give away manufacturers’ innovations to our commercial rivals. Our industry has been on the front lines of efforts to fight COVID-19—developing, manufacturing and distributing vaccines and other essential products needed to save lives and strengthen our economy. American innovation has been at the heart of the manufacturing response to the pandemic and will be just as critical for our ability to lead the world and respond to future global health crises.
“Manufacturers have been vocal supporters of effective solutions at the WTO that leverage trade to fight the pandemic—but this waiver is not one of them. Manufacturers call on the Biden administration to reverse course on this decision and take immediate action to protect this vital technology, American workers and global health.”
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
Scottsdale, AZ –– The National Association of Manufacturers today honored NAM board member and Nephron Pharmaceuticals CEO and Owner Lou Kennedy with the Manufacturing Icon Award during the NAM’s spring board meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. The award recognizes leaders who inspire Americans to promote, perpetuate and preserve manufacturing in America.
“Lou Kennedy embodies the spirit of manufacturing, possessing a fearless commitment to solving some of our nation’s and the world’s most pressing challenges,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “With trademark enthusiasm, Lou inspires those around her and brings together people from all sorts of backgrounds around a common purpose. In channeling her drive and dedication toward the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute’s Creators Wanted campaign, she is changing lives not just in South Carolina but across America. Her support has been game changing, and her passion for building the manufacturing workforce has helped us see our own vision for Creators Wanted more clearly. We’re honored to present this award to Lou in recognition of her exceptional leadership.”
Kennedy serves as co-chair of Creators Wanted. Last year, Nephron Pharmaceuticals hosted the Creators Wanted Tour Live in West Columbia, South Carolina.
The NAM and the MI’s “Creators Wanted” campaign is a member-driven initiative to inspire, educate and empower more Americans to pursue careers in modern manufacturing and to shift perceptions about careers in the industry. The campaign supports MI initiatives for students, women, veterans and other underrepresented communities and features a first-of-its-kind mobile experience and tour. It seeks to cut the skills gap by 600,000 workers by 2025 and increase the number of students enrolling in technical schools, vocational schools and apprenticeships by 25%. The campaign also seeks to increase the percentage of parents who would encourage their children to pursue a career in modern manufacturing to 50% from 27%.
In 2019, Kennedy was named a STEP Ahead Award Honoree. The MI’s STEP Ahead Awards honor women in science, technology, engineering and production careers who have demonstrated excellence and leadership across all levels of the manufacturing industry. Kennedy continues to work with the MI to help increase women’s representation in manufacturing and support the next generation of female talent.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.57 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
Michaela Almgren already has two jobs, but in recent months, she’s found herself appointed to a third: COVID-19-vaccine information hub.
A foot in each world: A pharmacist by training, Almgren divides her time between the University of South Carolina’s College of Pharmacy, where she is an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences, and Nephron Pharmaceuticals, where she is clinical adviser and pharmacy student internship director.
- Owing to her impressive background in drug formulation and analytical method development as a hospital pharmacist, as well as her skills as a lecturer, Almgren has also become a sort of de facto conspiracy-theory debunker when it comes to COVID-19 vaccination.
A go-to for facts: In recent months, in her capacity as both a professor and a Nephron employee, Almgren has given lectures and presentations about COVID-19, its variants and the vaccines—and she’s had significant follow-up questions from audience members. So many, in fact, that colleagues and others she has met teaching and at manufacturing gatherings have come to see her as a voice of reason capable of cutting through the noise.
- “A lot of people just fall into this misinformation mill” about the vaccine, Almgren said. “Typing in something like ‘Dangerous COVID-19 vaccine’ will give you this feed of articles, but it doesn’t mean the vaccine is dangerous.… That’s just how these [search engines] work.”
Convincing and calm: Almgren has been the impetus for the vaccination of several employees at Nephron, which has a 100% vaccination rate.
- “They’d say, ‘Thank you for talking with me. I was unsure about the vaccine, and it made me nervous, but talking with you made me feel that it was OK.’”
Fact vs. fiction: Almgren shared some of the top vaccine-related myths she’s successfully debunked during presentations and other conversations.
- “They have long-term side effects.” Fact: “This is where I talk about how these [vaccine] components don’t stay in your body more than 72 hours. The idea is just to elicit an immune response, and then it’s gone. And think about it on a global scale. If it was so deadly and terrible, by now we would see millions of people dropping dead or getting really sick” as a direct result.
- “They were rushed to market.” Fact: “When you actually look at how the clinical trial was defined, it was very similar to any other clinical trials for other vaccines. No shortcuts were taken. They just compressed the studies and ran them simultaneously.”
- “They’re not safe for kids.” Fact: “As a parent, I can totally understand why people would be concerned” about the vaccine for children, Almgren said. “But the clinical trial is out there, released and published in terms of how Pfizer did it. The data is clear showing the efficacy is there, and the side effects are minimal. If you have no issue with the polio vaccine or the tetanus shot, why is COVID-19 any different?”
- “Natural immunity is better.” Fact: “Natural immunity can be further boosted with the vaccine, and it wanes more than vaccine-induced immunity,” Almgren said. People who have had COVID-19 and get vaccinated “have an even stronger [immune] response.”
The last word: Check out the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute’s This Is Our Shot initiative to find out how you can protect yourself and the people you care about from COVID-19.
Washington, D.C. – After the publication today of the National Association of Manufacturers’ latest report, “Ensuring a Healthy Future: The Impact and Importance of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:
“Pharmaceutical manufacturers are essential to America’s health and well-being and to the success of our economy. They have helped lead our country through crisis, fight the pandemic and drive our recovery. The sector creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, and the work its quarter of a million employees perform is literally lifesaving, improving society in ways that are almost impossible to overstate.”
The report finds that not only have pharmaceutical manufacturers been pioneers in improving the human condition, but the industry also fuels other sectors of the economy.
According to the report:
- Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing directly employs an estimated 267,000 workers in the United States and supports nearly 1.9 million more jobs across the country.
- One job in the industry helps support six other jobs in the overall workforce.
- Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing generates nearly $339 billion in output. Further, $1.00 in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing output generates $1.09 in output elsewhere in the economy.
- For every $1.00 earned by an employee within the industry, $2.42 is earned by others elsewhere in the economy.
“The American public and policymakers too often overlook these accomplishments,” Timmons added. “Traditional economic analysis ignores the way this industry extends and enriches lives, and the public is not fully aware of pharmaceutical manufacturers’ constant focus on innovation and improving the quality of life for everyone. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are always researching, discovering and developing new medicines and treatments, operating at the core of our modern health care system. Their products make it possible for medical professionals to introduce and manage innovative new therapies, and of course, these manufacturers helped create lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. Moreover, the industry has high economic multipliers that drive production and job creation in other industries.”
Additional Key Findings:
- A successful pharmaceutical ecosystem requires strong private-sector investment.
- In 2019, American pharmaceutical companies invested more than $83 billion in research and development, topping off nearly $1 trillion in R&D investment over the past 20 years. A recent study from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics estimates that the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing sector alone accounts for roughly 17% of total R&D investment in the United States.
- The pharmaceutical industry invests nearly 11.4% of its sales back into R&D. Indeed, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry invests on average roughly three times more in R&D as a percentage of sales than all other manufacturing industries.
- The industry creates valuable STEM jobs.
- While roughly 6.7% of the U.S. workforce has a STEM occupation, 29.9% of all jobs in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing are STEM related. The pharmaceutical manufacturing sector employs more than four times the percentage of STEM workers employed in the overall workforce.
- Industry employees are highly productive.
- Industry employees produce $1.3 million in output per employee. This is nearly seven times greater than the U.S. economy’s average output per employee ($188,000).
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.4 million men and women, contributes $2.44 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
Timmons on Labor Shortages, Creators Wanted Campaign
“Let’s be upfront about it. We have a very severe worker shortage in our country right now. It’s why the NAM has been so focused on our Creators Wanted campaign, to attract that next generation of manufacturing workers, and we are in competition now all across every sector for workers.
“So, if you think about supply chain shortages, why is that happening? Part of it certainly is the pandemic and the ability for trade to move freely, but you also have issues of not enough people at factories producing the component parts that go into finished products. What does that lead to? That leads to higher prices. So, it’s a supply and demand issue. Jim Cramer earlier today talked about a focus on getting this worker shortage under control. He mentioned, for instance, one possibility of helping to deal with this is immigration reform and that he thinks that there is a potential bipartisan solution to that. I believe there is as well. We have been pushing that through our program called A Way Forward at the NAM for a number of years. We think that’s one thing that will help get the economy back and deal with some of these issues.”
Timmons on Separating Infrastructure Investment from the Budget Resolution
“I think it was an extraordinary achievement by the Senate, a bipartisan achievement by Republicans and Democrats to get that bill across the line. We said at the NAM from the start that we would see probably about $1.2 trillion without punishing and archaic tax increases that would take us back to a time when we weren’t able to invest and hire and grow wages like we have for the last three years…We think that this bipartisan solution needs to get across the finish line. This is a very big priority not only for the president, but also for the American people. We know that can get done.
“…the reconciliation package that may be being developed…we have some serious concerns. We will certainly oppose any of the archaic tax increases that have been discussed. We are hearing somewhere between $1.8 and $3.5 trillion on job creators in America. That would take us to where we were before the 2017 tax reforms, where, afterwards, as I said, we were able to have record investment, record job creation, record wage growth. Why would we ever want to undo that? We are watching that very closely. We will oppose the bill with any of those factors in there. We will oppose the pharmaceutical issues that are in those bills that will stop us from being able to deal with the next pandemic. And we are going to oppose the labor provisions that would drive a wedge between management and our workers. There are a lot of things in that bill we don’t like. But infrastructure, BIF as it’s called in Washington speak, needs to get across the line right away. It’s an accomplishment we can all be proud of.”
Timmons on the NAM’s Vaccine Mandates
“I am so proud of the NAM team…We had a…94% vaccine acceptance rate before we imposed the mandate, and since then…we have achieved 100%. And I am thrilled because our team cares about not only themselves and their families, but also the people that we interact with every day—our 14,000 member manufacturers across the country. It’s the responsible thing to do, and I am happy that team NAM came through.
“What I hear from every single CEO that we represent is that their number-one concern is their employees, the health of their employees, the health of their employees’ families and their communities…It’s become political at times, but it doesn’t need to be. The last administration through Operation Warp Speed helped develop a vaccine in just record time with all the safety protocols in place. This administration is executing the vaccinations across the country. It’s a bipartisan effort, a nonpartisan effort, I would say, to make sure that our communities are safe, that our country is safe and the world can return to normal. It’s the only way it’s going to happen—we know that.”
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.4 million men and women, contributes $2.44 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
What does it look like when manufacturers get vaccinated? For some people across the country, it was just another day at work.
Hundreds of manufacturers nationwide have hosted vaccination events for their own employees, sometimes including family and community members as well. NAM Director of Photography David Bohrer stopped by a few of these events to capture them, while other companies sent the NAM their own pictures. Here are some of those photos—a visual tour of manufacturers’ efforts to keep America safe and healthy.
Calvert, Alabama: Steel and mining company ArcelorMittal held an on-site vaccine clinic at its plant for team members and the local community. If you look closely, you’ll see that one of these employees is holding a pin from the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute’s Yellow and Red Ribbon initiative—a symbol of vaccination that you can wear to show you’ve done your part.
Fremont, California: Below, an employee of ALOM Technologies Corporation, which creates supply chain technology and solutions, gets his shot at the company’s facility. In the background, you can see a poster for This Is Our Shot, the NAM and MI’s effort to help manufacturers across the country get vaccinated.
Perryville, Missouri: More than 150 Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation employees were vaccinated at an on-site clinic set up at the company’s request by the local Perry County Health Department.
In our interview with Gilster-Mary Lee President and CEO Tom Welge back in April, he told us how the tragic death of his father (and former Gilster-Mary Lee CEO) Don Welge from COVID-19 reinforced the company’s commitment to vaccinations. Read more about the company’s efforts here.
Baltimore, Maryland: Marlin Steel Wire Products led a coalition of 81 manufacturing companies in an effort to get vaccine doses for their workers. In the end, the coalition organized 17 events for more than 3,300 employees.
Here’s a photo from a March event for workers from Marlin Steel, Orlando Products and Arnold Packaging. It was hosted at Orlando’s facility, where a team from Safeway administered the shots.
We spoke to Marlin President and Owner Drew Greenblatt back in April about how he organized this effort. Check out the interview here.
Lafayette, Indiana: At Subaru of Indiana, more than 2,900 vaccinations were delivered across eight clinics held in the facility’s lobby. The clinic was open to all on-site personnel, including vendor and contractor representatives, along with associates’ spouses and eligible kids. Recently, the company transitioned to hosting a weekly vaccine clinic at its on-site Health and Wellness Center.
Join in: If you’re a manufacturer looking to encourage vaccinations among your employees or even host an event yourself, check out the many resources available through the NAM and the MI’s This Is Our Shot project. The most recent addition is an “on-site vaccination clinic toolkit” provided by the Department of Health and Human Services. And don’t forget to wear your yellow and red ribbon pin!
As India struggles with COVID-19, manufacturers across the United States have stepped up to offer assistance and material aid.
The situation: India is grappling with a dangerous and extremely transmissible form of COVID-19, even as the country has struggled to inoculate large swaths of its population. As a result, hospitals across the country are straining to fulfill critical needs, and the situation has become dire.
The support: Many manufacturers have announced that they will provide critical assistance to response efforts in India, including the following:
- Raytheon Technologies donated four mobile oxygen trucks, working with the Indian Red Cross to get them to Delhi.
- Deere donated $2.7 million to provide urgent medical resources and health care infrastructure, working with United Way Mumbai.
- Pfizer sent $70 million worth of COVID-19 treatment medicines directly to India/Indian government to help fight the disease.
- Lilly donated 400,000 tablets of key medicine used to treat severe COVID-19 patients—and made new voluntary agreements to ramp up local manufacturing and distribution in India.
- UPS donated $1 million to India to fight COVID-19.
- FedEx is donating critical supplies to India and has donated $4 million to help nonprofit organizations reach underserved communities get COVID-19 vaccines.
- Samsung is importing 1 million Low Dead Space (LDS) syringes, which minimize the amount of drug left in the syringes after an injection.
- Boeing created a $10 million emergency assistance package for India to support the country’s response to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
- LyondellBasell is donating $100,000 to the U.S. India Friendship Alliance to help the organization provide 250 oxygen concentrators to India’s hospitals and medical facilities.
In related news, the United States will donate 500 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to the world, according to Reuters (subscription). The donations will be distributed this year and over the first half of next year to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union, via the COVAX vaccine program spearheaded by the World Health Organization and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. The White House has also pledged additional direct aid to India, which is detailed here.
- The NAM has praised these efforts to accelerate vaccinations in India and the rest of the world, calling them a “powerful, effective way to improve vaccine access,” while preserving critical IP protections that made that innovation possible.
What we’re saying: “Manufacturers are deeply committed to the fight against COVID-19 in our communities, including here in the United States, in India and around the world,” said NAM Director of International Business Policy Ryan Ong. “The NAM is working directly with members and with partners like Good360 and SBP to provide critical relief where it is mostly badly needed and to help us all respond and recover from COVID-19 as we work toward a better post-pandemic world.”
ANN ARBOR, MICH. – The National Association of Manufacturers announced today that it will offer an association health plan to its members, extending affordable health care to small and medium-sized manufacturing companies and member associations in approved states. In states where the association health plan is not available, the NAM will connect manufacturers with available small-group options in their state.
“This association health plan is another step in our work to make the NAM a one-stop shop for manufacturing across the United States,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “With small and medium-sized businesses making up more than 90 percent of our membership, this plan will help provide health care and reduce uncertainty for workers and their employers across the country.”
The plan, called NAM Health Care (www.namhealthcare.com), was developed to meet manufacturers’ unique health care needs. It will offer a portfolio of health benefits options insured by UnitedHealthcare. In states where these plans are available, businesses with 2 to 99 employees will be able to choose from a variety of PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) and HSA (Health Savings Account) health plans. Members will also have access to UnitedHealthcare’s Choice Plus care provider network of more than 1.2 million physicians and care professionals and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare will work with any licensed or appointed agents who want to sell NAM Health Care.
In addition, Mercer will provide the NAM’s small business members with consulting services regarding health benefits offerings and contribution strategies, marketing support to educate and enroll their employees, plan administration and compliance services. The Mercer Affinity 365+sm platform will provide members technology for quoting, enrollment and ongoing benefits administration to drive cost efficiencies and facilitate employee engagement.
Association health plans allow companies to band together to manage and purchase health care coverage that may save on annual health insurance costs by providing plans that are typically enjoyed by larger companies at a competitive price. Under NAM Health Care, eligible member companies also will have access to supplemental benefits, including dental, vision and life.
“The work that manufacturers are doing every day grows the economy and strengthens our country, and they deserve the health care they need to do that job with certainty and support,” said Timmons. “At the NAM, we are proud to help lower costs and increase competitive health coverage for the men and women who make things in America.”
NAM Health Care is quoting these plans for eligible member groups for a Sept. 1, 2019, enrollment date. To enroll in these plans, where available, interested businesses may visit www.namhealthcare.com.